NS Election: Candidates for Halifax Citadel–Sable Island

It’s election time in Nova Scotia! Even if you don’t live here we think you’ll learn something about Sable Island from the information below. We strongly encourage all Nova Scotians to vote on or before October 8th – and make your vote an informed one!

 

Friends of Sable Island asked the five candidates running in the riding of “Halifax Citadel–Sable Island” the following questions:

  1. What makes Sable Island important to you?
  2. What will you do as an MLA to protect Sable Island?
  3. What are the most important issues facing Sable Island and how will you address them if your party forms the government?

Here are the three responses received by our deadline, in order of reply:

Labi Kousoulis, Liberal Party Candidate, http://www.liberal.ns.ca/candidates/halifax-citadel-sable-island/

  1. Sable Island is an important part of Canadian history and it is a unique and valuable eco-system (scientifically valuable) It is great to know that it has joined the network of provincial and national parks and will enjoy the protection that comes with that network membership. It is a place that offers great scientific and ecological importance, and it has shaped a number industries such as fishing.
  2. I will work toward an effective implementation of the Island new status as part of the network of provincial and national parks to make sure that the resources we now have to protect the island are used in the most effective way possible, and not squandered or redirected. Make sure that industrial concerns (O&G) don’t overshadow scientific, ecological or 
  3. Over-Visitation (now that it is a Nat’l park). Oil and Gas exploitation. Proper execution of nat’l park status/resources.

Andrew Black, PC Party Candidate, http://www.andrew4citadel.ca/

  1. Sable Island is one of the natural gems of Nova Scotia – one of the things that makes our province unique, and I am fiercely proud that it is part of the Halifax Citadel-Sable Island constituency. It is a precious ecological and historical environment that has captured the imagination of many Nova Scotians, including myself. Although I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Sable Island, I hope to some day.
  2. As an MLA, I look forward to being an active advocate for Sable Island with provincial and federal government partners. The Friends of Sable Island Society should be commended for its role in championing the Sable Island National Park Reserve, and its ability to connect and mobilize partners. I will work closely as a partner with the Society to further facilitate interest, awareness, and protection of the Island.
  3. I recognize the role of leadership role of Parks Canada and the protocols in place to protect the island. At the provincial and local level, awareness is key. Once educated about the beauty, history, and significance of Sable Island, one cannot help but be moved to help preserve and protect it for future generations. As MLA, I will work with the Society to build that awareness among my colleagues in government and other community partners.

Leonard Preyra, NDP Candidate, http://nsndp.ca/people/leonard-preyra

  1. Sable Island occupies an iconic and special place in the hearts and minds of Canadians – especially Nova Scotians. I believe it is our duty to act as stewards to protect the island and its flora and fauna for future generations.
  2. As your MLA, I proposed and was successful in changing the name of our riding to Halifax Citadel-Sable Island to reflect Sable Island’s importance to our province. To protect its habitat, the NDP passed legislation that designates the Sable Horse as the official horse of Nova Scotia. We also conducted regular meetings with stakeholder groups and sponsored annual meetings to exchange and shared information and to discuss environmental protection strategies for Sable Island. Finally we ensured the highest level of protection currently available for Sable Island by passing legislation designating it a National Park Reserve.
  3. We need to enshrine the broadest environmental protection to conserve Sable Island’s natural ecosystem and heritage values. In partnership with stakeholder groups, we need to work towards a management plan that controls visitation and encourages scientific study of Sable Island and the broader global issues of atmosphere and ocean monitoring. We must also create opportunities for “virtual visits” to Sable Island that will allow all Canadians to enjoy this iconic piece of our heritage.

We thank all three candidates for their thoughtful responses to our questions, and look forward to working with the MLA for “Halifax Citadel–Sable Island” after the election.