Cabot Links probed over possible beach violation
The Department of Natural Resources says it's looking into whether Cape Breton's newest golf course violates provincial laws, just one week before its grand opening.
Bruce Nunn, a spokesman for the department, said staff are looking into whether Cabot Links — opening in Inverness on Friday — is violating the province's Beaches Act by encroaching on protected dunes.
"What they need to do is continue the investigation, gather the facts and see if there are any issues there that are potentially in violation of the Beaches Act," he told CBC News.
"That hasn't been determined yet, the investigation is still ongoing."
Nunn did not say how long the investigation would take.
Neal Livingston, the co-chair of the Margaree Environmental Association, said the group raised questions about Cabot Links because the golf course's fairways appear to be in dunes at Inverness Beach.
Livingston said the group is not opposed to the golf course, but wants the Minister of Natural Resources to order Cabot Links to get off the protected land and remediate it.
"I think everyone is interested to see economic development in Inverness. It's a good thing, but just like you can't drive through a stop sign without that being illegal, protected areas are protected and they have legislation around them," he said.
"It's not appropriate for people to be operating in any way that would damage a protected area, so we're saying to the government, they should treat this matter seriously."
The creation of Cabot Links — an 18-hole golf course — has created dozens of jobs in the Inverness area, from grounds-keeping to service industry positions in the resort’s hotel and two restaurants.