Of Candidates running in District 11 Hannah Munday was the only respondent. Stephen Chafe, Matthew Conrad, Bruce Cooke, Patty Cuttell, Bruce Holland, Kristen Hollery, Jim Hoskins, Ambroise Matwawana, Lisa Mullin, Dawn Edith Penney and Pete Rose did not reply to the survey. See Hannah’s response below:
1. There has been gradual but constant loss of public-use open space from the Halifax Common’s 245 acres. In the HRM Charter there is a legislated protection for preserving the integrity of the Dartmouth Common. Would you commit to establishing a similar law to protect the integrity of the Halifax Common? Yes. We need to protect our green spaces as they are part of what gives Halifax it’s unique character.
2. Proposals for 4 high rise towers on the Halifax Common in the Carlton, College, Robie, Spring Garden Road area are proceeding through the HRM Development Agreement process. If approved these will negatively impact public enjoyment of remaining open green space on the south Halifax Common ie Camp Hill Cemetery, Public Gardens or Dalhousie Seton Campus, by blocking sunlight/views, creating wind and adding hundreds of cars. Would you work to have HRM actively oppose these developments? I will need to look further at the existing development proposals to see how they mesh with Halifax by Design but my inclination is to say that additional towers in this area would not be desirable.
3. The Halifax Common remains a major reserve of green space for the Halifax Peninsula. There is a shortage of green space in HRM (needed in addition to sports and recreation facilities). Would you favour an expanded and comprehensive green space policy for HRM, especially on the Halifax Peninsula, that will increase public open space and connectivity between existing green space? Yes. A green corridor through the peninsula would be a great asset to the city.
4. One recent change in a part of the Halifax Common is use of the Wanderer’s Grounds. Prior to its essential privatization by a professional soccer team, the Wanderer’s Grounds was fully booked by amateur players. Now zero amateur teams have regular access. Have you any policies you’d pursue for the Wanderer’s Grounds? Please describe briefly. I admit that I was unaware the Wanderers’ Grounds were not shared between the soccer team and the city. That’s disheartening; I assumed there was a shared-use agreement. I would certainly support efforts to negotiate such an agreement.
5. Plans for the additions to the QEII hospital complex include the building of two parking garages at the Natural History Museum and former CBC TV site. While the Province is taking the lead, HRM is co-operating. Under s.213 of the HTM Charter the Province pledges to “consider the planning documents of the Municipality” before carrying out any development. Would you work to have HRM actively oppose the Province’s plans for these parking garages? (Yes or No) The most recent modification to the province’s plan is an improvement over the initial design, but there is still room to make it better.
6. The previous City of Halifax adopted a 1994 Master Plan for the Common. HRM is now considering a new Master Plan. What are your views on the pros and cons of the 1994 Master Plan and what would you propose for the new Halifax Common Master Plan? Please elaborate. I like the idea of the Summer Street block being “a multi-purpose all-season public activity area including athletic, cultural and special events with general public use and access”. The goal of the Commons should be free and open access to as many people as possible, with few barriers. I hope that is kept in mind with the new plan going forward.