Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin says his government is addressing a “legacy of systemic racism” by setting aside $3 million to help accelerate the process of awarding land titles in historically African Nova Scotian communities.

The money will go toward the province’s Land Titles Initiative, a project launched in 2017 to help residents of North and East Preston, Cherry Brook/Lake Loon, Lincolnville and Sunnyville get clear land titles at no cost.

In the 1800s, land was given to both white and Black Loyalists by the provincial government, but only white settlers were given clear land titles, leading to years of confusion for descendants of Black settlers and limiting their ability to obtain mortgages, access housing grants or sell their homes.

Story continues below advertisement

“They have undergone anti-Black racism for generations, frankly, and the best way to tackle that is anti-racism initiatives,” Rankin said in an interview Friday. “We need to do our part to recognize historic injustice that has existed in our province.”

Rankin said after working with African Nova Scotian communities, he learned there are barriers that need to be removed in order to ensure the success of the initiative. The new funding will go toward negotiation, mediation and potentially arbitration, he said, in cases that involve competing title claims.

To date, the Land Titles Initiative has cleared 194 land parcels from more than 500 applications and more than 850 eligible parcels of land. It covers land claim applications in five regions, but Rankin said there is an opportunity to expand the program to other areas.

The premier said he has given the government one year to clarify the remaining title applications as several have been “caught in the bureaucracy.”

“There has been a lot of work that has gone into this initiative, but while those families wait, they’re being held back,” he said. “They’re not able to, for example, leverage property values, they don’t have a mortgage.

“That needs to change.”

Lawyer and community leader Angela Simmonds has been mandated as the executive director of the initiative and will develop strategies to expedite the application process, Rankin said.

Story continues below advertisement

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies