Council calls on province to form Carters Beach committee

A photo of Queens-Shelburne MLA Kim Masland stands next to a pile of garbage at Carters Beach.
Queens-Shelburne MLA Kim Masland at Carters Beach. Photo - Kim Masland.
Ed Halverson - QCCR - LiverpoolNS | 15-09-2020
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Region of Queens Council hopes striking a new committee will resolve issues at Carters Beach.

A lack of parking, places to dispose of garbage and washroom facilities have only gotten worse as the beach has become more popular with visitors.

At a recent meeting with Queens CAO Chris McNeill and Mayor David Dagley, the residents of Carters Beach Road proposed striking a new committee that would have authority to approve decisions about Carters Beach.

The residents believe the existing community liaison committee lacks the teeth necessary to make changes at Carters Beach.

Mayor Dagley say the residents want personnel from the departments of lands and forestry, environment and transportation and infrastructure renewal, as well as representatives from Region of Queens, the residents group, business community and RCMP to come to the table and develop solutions with the ability to act upon them in a timely manner.

“There were some other requests in there, that, they were looking for performance deadlines be included,” said Dagley. “And the Region of Queens, when we’re looking to make a request to a minister, we’re not looking to put a large numbers of restrictions and time frames upon those requests.”

Region of Queens council voted to write a letter to lands and forestry minister Iain Rankin to request his department begin the work set up the committee.

The decisions need to run through the provincial government as Carters Beach is a provincial beach and many of the problems fall under the province’s jurisdiction.

Mayor Dagley says the municipality and province have spoken repeatedly about Carters Beach and Queens is willing to do their part.

“At the end of the day, they are the only ones that are able to determine what actions they will take. We’re able to support most of the actions that I’m anticipating they would like to do. But until we hear them, and we have that conversation, it’s a work in progress,” said Dagley.

Residents are looking for a parking area, garbage cans and washrooms to be built on site.

Dagley says the region is willing to send crews to pump out the holding tanks and install garbage receptacles if the province is willing to put in proper washroom facilities and provide staff to clean them and empty the garage.*

The province has been hesitant to do anything that would encourage more visitors to Carters Beach because it is an environmentally sensitive area.

There is sensitive ecology along with nesting birds that could be endangered by an increase in beach-goers.

Dagley says the region appreciates the difficulties being faced by the residents of Carters Beach road but they are limited as to how mush support they can offer.

“It is provincial land and it is under the control of the Nova Scotia department of lands and forestry and the minister in that department is having conversations on solutions,” said Dagley. “What they determine, including the formation of this committee will be at their discretion.”

The letter has been sent, and Dagley says the municipality will have to wait to hear from the province what they are prepared to do.

*A previous version of this story indicated the region was willing to send crews to clean washroom facilities. That has been changed to more accurately reflect the region's willingness to pump the holding tanks they're asking the province to place on site.

Reported by Ed Halverson 
Twitter: @edwardhalverson