The province is asking Nova Scotians for their thoughts on how to use 1.5 million acres of Crown land in western Nova Scotia. The input from the consultations, which the province committed to in December, will help develop a land-use plan, which includes lands bought from Bowater Mersey Ltd. “Public consultations will start in March so people can comment on how the Crown lands in that region should be used,” said Lunenburg West MLA Gary Ramey, on behalf of Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. “We will be asking Nova Scotians for their ideas on forestry and other activities on the land that can create economic gain for the region and the province.” Premier Darrell Dexter has said the province will put much of the land into the hands of those in the forestry industry who can best generate jobs and economic benefit. Government will also seek input from the Mi’kmaq, municipalities, industry, and communities for the long-term plan to manage the Crown land and its natural resources. Uses being considered for the land include forestry, agricultural operations, mineral exploration, renewable energy, wineries, producing maple syrup and growing cranberries. Some of the Crown land will also be used for community forests, announced in December. The Department of Natural Resources is reviewing submissions and will set up a community forest pilot project in the western region. “I am pleased to see the province involving Nova Scotians in these important discussions on our forests’ future because our forests hold valuable, renewable resources that are critical to our rural economy,” said Ron Smith, chair of the Transition Advisory Committee, which advised on buying the lands from Bowater Mersey Ltd. “Careful consideration of ways to make the most of these lands is important.” Talks have also begun to create a Mi’kmaq forestry initiative. “The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs is encouraged that the province is committed to working collaboratively with the Mi’kmaq in this planning process,” said Chief Rod Googoo, assembly’s lead chief on lands. “The development of a Mi’kmaq forestry initiative will also provide an opportunity to ensure that the Mi’kmaq voice is heard.” During the planning, the province will consider access to lakes, roads, and trails on the lands. People are entitled to hunt and fish on all Crown lands as long as it does not interfere with leased or licensed lands, or the area is not barred by fish and wildlife regulations. The province will consult the public on land protection and provincial park use at a later date. The final plan will include sustainable forestry management, as described in the province’s natural resources strategy, The Path We Share. It will also meet new policies and guidelines for better forest management. Information about the consultations and the planning process is at http://novascotia.ca/natr/.
An 82-year-old man has been charged with manslaughter in connection to the death of a fellow nursing home resident in Mississauga. Peel police say 79-year-old Keith Wood fell to the ground after he was hit by another resident at Camilla Care Community on November 2. Wood suffered blunt force trauma to his head and was taken to hospital. He later died from his injuries.Arnold Kendall, 82, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with manslaughter.