Keep Shubie Canal portage public, group urges
Shubenacadie Canal Commission calls for public testimony to save only public access to Lake Fletcher
A group of concerned Nova Scotians continues to reach out to the public in its efforts to have the province designate a stretch of land along the old Shubenacadie Canal system as Crown land.
The Shubenacadie Canal Commission is fighting attempts by an adjacent property owner to privatize the land by claiming squatter's rights.
Located beside Lock Four of the former canal system, the sliver of land is the only portage site between Lake Thomas and Lake Fletcher in Fall River.
"We're consulting everyone we possibly can in order to get this work," said Suzanne Roy, vice-chair of the canal commission.
"We continue to gather evidence so we invite people to send us more testimonials: photos, documents, whatever they have that shows that the public has used this for many, many years and wants to continue using it."
The stretch of land — infilled during the original construction of the canal system — is classified as owner unknown.
It was recognized in 1976 under the Special Places Act because of the historic Fletcher Lake Lock, which in its time was used to raise and lower boats between different elevations of water along the canal.
On Wednesday a couple of canoeing enthusiasts paddled to the portage site to show their support for the canal commission.
The Halifax Regional Municipality said it will send a letter of support to the province for the land to remain in the public domain.
Ultimately, Minister of Natural Resources Zach Churchill will make the final decision on whether the stretch of land classified as Crown land.