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Position Statement

Provincial Parks Act Update

February 25, 2024

TIANS has long held the belief that the natural environment is a significant part of Nova Scotia’s tourism product and we market our Provincial Parks as iconic assets to the world. Adventure Tourism and Recreation is one of the fastest growing sectors, and since COVID-19, Nova Scotia has been recognized as a pristine and safe destination. Despite this, the legislation protecting the Provincial Parks is weak and outdated, leading to a lack of confidence around long-term protection from development. Over the last number of years, TIANS has spoken up on the issues around Provincial Parks and development requests. The last two requests were for new tourism assets (golf courses). TIANS did not support those developments in recognition of the importance of protecting these parks as community assets for visitors and residents alike.

The government of Nova Scotia committed to strengthening Parks legislation in both the 2013 Parks and Protected Areas Plan and the 2010 Natural Resource Strategy. Both of those policy documents were the result of multi-year, multi-phase processes, involving province-wide public consultation, expert panels of review, and government staff analysis. In 2021, the Houston government committed to implementing the Parks and Protected Areas Plan in its election platform and its DNRR Ministerial Mandate Letter, however there has still not been any action taken to advance this work, 14 years after it was first identified.

TIANS has called on government to implement the promised policy actions and articulated the specific Act amendments which would achieve this goal:

  • Delineate the three different types of parks (roadside picnic parks, camping parks, and Natural Environment parks)
  • Clarify what is and is not allowed in each type of park
  • Confirm that the primary purposes of nature-based parks (Core parks and Park Reserves) are the protection of native biodiversity, natural heritage and low-impact recreation.

Amending the Provincial Parks Act will provide much-needed clarity regarding usage and mitigate future requests for development in these areas. Solidifying the protection and usage of our Provincial Park system for tomorrow holds tremendous potential as a multi-generational legacy for the future.