The Ecology Action Centre is appalled and deeply discouraged by the events taking place at the Eisner Cove Wetland. We condemn the actions of the Province, Clayton Developments and the police in destroying the last remaining large wetland in Dartmouth. The acts of state violence against peaceful community members, including a Mi’kmaw Elder who was arrested while asserting her Treaty Rights, was unjustified and deplorable.
Access to affordable housing and the protection of the natural environment are not mutually exclusive; we need to plan and develop areas in a manner that delivers on both.
In January 2020, the Province quietly sold this public land to a private developer for $680,000, a figure well below the previous years’ assessed value. In May 2022, the joint provincial-municipal Housing Task Force announced nine areas which had been identified to be fast-tracked for development in Halifax Regional Municipality, including Southdale, home to Eisner Cove Wetland. The community was not consulted in either situation.
Eisner Cove Wetland needs to be protected. Wetlands naturally sequester large amounts of carbon, filter water, buffer storms, prevent flooding, and are home to countless plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. As both climate change and the biodiversity crisis continue to intensify, we cannot afford to destroy any more wetlands.
EAC stands with the local community and with nature. We are calling for an immediate pause to the development at Eisner Cove Wetland and for the inclusion of community consultation with regard to any future development at this site. We also call for stronger protection of wetlands and the natural environment across Nova Scotia, and for the development of truly affordable housing and complete communities through transparent and democratic processes without the destruction of the critical ecosystems.