Testing military weapons in Nova Scotia?

Email template | Change.orgr1

PAOV — The Department of National Defence (DND) plans to build a weapons testing facility in Hartlen Point, Nova Scotia, just outside of Halifax, cutting off access to shoreline trails and the best birding location in the province, while also putting a thriving marine ecosystem at risk. A request for public input was only announced on the Government of Canada website, so people who use the area to hike, surf, and birdwatch had almost no opportunity to have their concerns heard. Now, concerned residents are urging the DND to consider a different site for the new facility, to protect both the ecosystem and access to Hartlen Point. If you agree, sign the petition now.

Protect Hartlen Point in Eastern... Passage, Nova Scotia

2,204 have signed Hartlen Point’s petition. Let’s get to 2,500!

Sign now with a click

In January 2021, The Department of National Defence (DND) sought public input to help inform whether a Weapons Systems Testing Facility at Hartlen Point, Eastern Passage, was likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. As it was only announced on the Government of Canada website, this public consultation attracted zero participants and zero comments. This advertised session was not adequately delivered nor was a fair chance for input given. News of this shocked thousands, including nearby residential community members, the Nova Scotia Birding Society, local hikers, surfers, and others who demand responsible coastal development in Nova Scotia.

Just a 20 minute drive from Halifax, 15 minutes from Dartmouth, Hartlen Point is a glorious place to experience the rich ecosystems and coastal beauty that Nova Scotia has to offer. In Harbour East Halifax, Hartlen Point is the only land-accessible wilderness remaining and the only location where the horizon sunrise can be viewed sea-to-sky. Dog walkers and hikers frequent the area’s shoreline trails, surfers regularly coast the waves, and a vibrant lobster fishery takes place 100 metres offshore. Bird watchers agree the point is the #1 birding location in Nova Scotia and 15th best in North America, attracting enthusiasts from prominent international locations.

As the top spot for birds, Hartlen Point is incredibly important for local and migratory wildlife, hosting hundreds of thousands of birds each year of more than three-hundred species. It is a critical stopover for migrating birds to feed and rest. The headland is home to other wildlife including bobcat, coyote, rabbit, deer, and the star-nosed mole, to name just a few. In terms of marine life, from the hermit crabs in the tidal estuary to the harbour seal colony near shore, it is a thriving marine ecosystem.

As clearly stated by DND, the 9000m3 weapons systems testing facility will emit high powered radio frequencies that pose significant risk to humans, birds, and wildlife that are within the broad range of emissions. This includes the provincial crown land intertidal shoreline area of Hartlen Point and the nearshore waters of Hartlen Point. For this very reason, other site locations were scrapped, such as Magazine Hill in Bedford and Fergusson’s Cove. The lack of transparency from DND, the lack of community impact assessment, and lack of environmental assessment are all greatly worrying to those who value this area.

Along with the serious health and safety risks, loss of coastal & nearshore access, and the imminent destruction of Nova Scotia’s number one birding location, there are other significant concerns. These include a significant acceleration of coastal erosion due to the deforestation of the headland; pedestrian, vehicular, and cyclist safety posed by heavy machinery and approximately 130+ cars per day on a residential road; a detrimental effect to the growing local tourism community; and an increase in mental stress to the rapidly growing local residential community who now have a weapons testing facility within the immediate bounds of their homes.

The community was assured they would have information and involvement, yet requests for such have repeatedly gone unanswered. We have been given sections of an Infrastructure Report done by IRVING, who is the confirmed contractor for the facility. This report is inherently biased and from what we have received, does not appear to take wildlife or habitat into consideration whatsoever.

Our main concerns with this report include:

1) 7.1.3 Options Analysis Section 105 (pg 79) d. states that the potential location “must be located outside of a densely populated urban environment and capable to be licensed for up to full radiate capabilities of the incorporated emitters by Innovation Economic Development and Science Canada (IEDSC)” Hartlen Point is nestled in the ever-growing community of Eastern Passage, with roughly 10,000 residents and many new builds in progress

2) Table 9 - Remote LBTS Options Analysis Matrix falsely states: (pg 88) 5. that Hartlen Point is outside of an urban environment, and (pg 89) 10. that it is accessible via maintained roads

3) Table 9 (pg 88) 7. shows that the deciding factor in choosing Hartlen Point may be that it is the only potential location that “does not impact external operations”. It is unclear what these external operations are or who is the operator, but it seems that it is referring to IRVING itself, which would again indicate bias

4) S 115 (pg. 84) states that Hartlen Point is a “vacant site” which is a blatant disregard of the wildlife that relies and even depends on this land for survival during migration.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act stipulates that new initiatives affecting the environment, including proposed defence projects and activities, must have an assessment carried out before they can be implemented. The Federal Government has decreed that assessment of policy changes is also required. As public access to the ocean in Nova Scotia rapidly diminishes, we do not want to lose such a beautiful place within our growing city.

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act obliges the Government to take preventative and remedial measures in protecting the environment. This implies that the Department of National Defence has a responsibility to the environment and to environmental protection. We, as the public, have to ensure that they pay more than lip service to their responsibility.

In the 1867 Constitution, Section 117 refers to the rights of provinces to retain all of their public property except when Canada requires them for the fortifications or the defence of the country. An exercise and testing complex does not meet this requirement.

There were other proposed sites for the build that are less invasive to both humans and wildlife, one of which is already somewhat developed. If this facility absolutely must be built at this location, we ask that at the very least, it be done with respect for the nature and wildlife that lives and thrives at Hartlen Point, as well as the surrounding community. We are demanding that the government listens and involves the folks who have chosen to call this area home, as well as the experts who are acting as a voice for the creatures who don’t have one.

What we want:

1. A proper environmental impact assessment, which includes: community, wildlife and nature, and traffic, to be completed by unbiased, uninvolved third parties. These assessments must be considered as a crucial part of the location decision;

2. Proper consideration of another site, such as Osborne Head, which is already partially developed and equipped, and is further from the community; If this is absolutely not possible:

3. Honest and transparent communication, with outreach to every household in the community to ensure the people of Eastern Passage understand exactly what is being built and how it will affect them;

4. Access to the full reports that have been done on the area;

5. Total cooperation with experts to maintain the crucial ecosystem.

Please sign and share to add a valuable contribution to our efforts to protect a vital piece of land, before it’s too late.

For more information and continued discussion on this major development, follow us on social media:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/protecthartlenpoint/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectHartlenPoint/

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/protecthartlenpoint

s42> · Privacy policy

We’d love to hear from you! Contact us through our help centre.

Change.org · 548 Market St #29993, San Francisco, CA 94104-5401, USA

Login Form