FHC Survey—District 12 Candidates’ Replies

Of Candidates for District 12 Eric Jury was the only respondent. Candidates John Bignell, Iona Stoddard and Incumbent Richard Zurawski did not reply to the survey. Eric gives very thoughtful answers so FHC has decided to endorse him. To read his answers please see below:
Eric Jury

Email: ericjury@eastlink.ca

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 public commons for the future citizens, and this is an active space that is used year-round. I take public transit everyday and for the past 10 years, every nice day, there is someone using this space.

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? We need the additional apartments for affordable housing in the city, I would require that any apartment buildings to be constructed in these locations, be for rent controlled apartments, for affordable housing. If the developer would not agree to this, then I would vote against them to be built at these locations. We need affordable housing close to parks and downtown for our citizens.

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? We have a need for additional affordable housing, and I don’t want to take away green space, but we need to be mindful of areas around green space that can be developed with lower income citizens in mind. This will allow them to get out and be active in their communities and socialize on public green space. Any developments around these areas will need to be with the preservation of green space in mind or should not be approved to be built.

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. The wanderers grounds should be a shared site that allows for community uses and amateur sport like Rugby etc. If elected, I would vote for the community use of this space and would request that councils look at uses for this space such as community events and functions like concerts. This area has a long history in the community and should not be lost to a single soccer team which can share the resources and use other facilities in the city to train.

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? The CBC location I would leave, the other I would need more information on this and would like to see if existing public green space can be saved.

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. Currently during Covid 19, I would not revise the plan and keep the existing plan until HRM budgets are reviewed and voted on. Once that is completed and if there is possible funding to allow for changes, I would consider and approve at that time.