Petition Closed
Petitioning Leader of the Green Party John Percy and 3 others

To Nova Scotia's Political Parties: Promise to Protect All of Martinique Beach


How can we protect the beautiful provincial park at Martinique Beach from a new man-made threat?

In light of the upcoming election on October 8, we are asking you to sign this petition to the leaders of all four parties so that no matter who is elected, the leader of the next government of Nova Scotia will be publicly committed to acting quickly to protect all of Martinique Beach.

But isn’t Martinique Beach already protected as a provincial park?

The answer is NO.

The park is at risk because when the legislature established the park, the legislators left the western half of the first beach in private hands, the part of the beach backed by private cottages and houses.

So private owners of the western half of the beach can take actions (like building a seawall) that do not violate any existing law but will damage the park side of the beach by washing away the sand.

The forces of nature are completely indifferent to legislatively-drawn property lines. As far as the ocean is concerned, there is only one beach at Martinique.

Beach geologists know from decades of experience that armoring the privately-owned side of the beach (with a seawall or some other material) will inevitably damage the public park side of the beach by accelerating the erosion of sand from the park side of the beach.

There is a straight-forward fix: the government can use its power under the Beaches Act to declare the unprotected, western-half of Martinique Beach as an official “beach” under the terms of this act. The Beaches Act gives the government the power to protect a designated beach by extending the province’s jurisdiction above the mean high tide mark in order to control “undesirable impacts on beach and associated dune systems.”

Our elected officials should have the wisdom to understand that there is only one beach at Martinique, and that in order to avoid damaging the provincial park, the government must provide protection for all of Martinique Beach, including the western-most portion of the beach that lies outside the boundaries of the park.

Letter to
Leader of the Green Party John Percy
Leader of the New Democratic Party Darrell Dexter
Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)
and 1 other
Leader of the Liberal Party Stephen McNeil (Leader of the Liberal Party)
Dear Party Leaders,

I am writing to ask you to promise voters that if your party wins control on October 8, you will act quickly to provide complete protection for all of Martinique Beach.

The threat to Martinique Beach exists because when the province established the park, the politicians involved left a portion of the beach outside the boundaries of the park—the portion in front of the privately-owned houses and cottages above the beach.

The forces of nature are completely indifferent to legislatively-drawn property lines. As far as the ocean is concerned, there is only one beach at Martinique.

Earlier this year, we learned that one of these private property owners is planning to create a massive wall of rocks in front of his property to protect his buildings from storms. Decades of experience shows that armoring beach fronts, by changing the flow of storm waters, inevitably results in the erosion of unprotected beaches nearby—in this case, the other portion of Martinique Beach that lies inside the park boundaries.

Please tell the voters that you intend to use the Beaches Act to protect all of Martinique Beach: give the unprotected portion of the beach the status of a designated beach, and then ban any sea walls or other beach armoring on this designated beach in order to prevent damage to the entire beach, including the part of the beach lying inside the provincial park.

Thank you for protecting all of Martinique Beach.