Of Councillor candidates for District 8 Virginia Hinch was the only respondent. Dylan Smith and Incumbent Lyndell Smith did not respond.
FHC has been disappointed with Councillor Smith. Last year Smith put forward a motion to have a Development Agreement proceed for a 23-storey high rise to on Danny Chedrawe’s Robie Street Cruickshanks property against the recommendation of HRM staff and against the Centre Plan. This will negatively affect the North Common with more shadow, wind and traffic. As well,
Councillor Smith did not support citizens who wanted the former St Pat’s High School site to remain as public property nor the citizens who worked for ~20 years on Imagine Bloomfield; both schools have now been sold to private developers.
Councillor Smith has also not advocated for the Halifax Common by standing against the developments on the Corridor, the four towers on the Carlton/College/Spring Garden Road/Robie Block and the parking garages.
FHC are therefore endorsing Candidate Virginia Hinch who answered very favorably to the survey questions!
Please see details below:
- 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,
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 i.e. 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? Yes, in their current (proposed) state.
- 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
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 would revisit item no.14.1.13 Temporary stadium on the wonderer grounds as this is to be looked at after 3 years to see if it was successful and to see if it can be used as multi-purpose to include amateur sports events.
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?
I would continue to oppose the structure proposed for the Common (adjacent to Wanders’ Grounds). I believe the former CBC location is provincially owned so my priority there would be to work with interested groups (such as yours) to advocate for a build that does not adversely impact the Common. In general, I would push for less infrastructure for private vehicles and more resources applied toward public transit and other low-carbon alternatives with the understanding that there will inevitably be some need to facilitate those coming from remote areas or who have other specific requirements with regards to transportation.
- 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 have not read into the 1994 Mater Plan quite enough to comment but am actively doing so. Any updated plan would have to be developed with full engagement and consultation from the community and other key groups and organizations like your own.