Category Archives: OPINION

Friends of the Halifax Common send letters to the media and to public officials regarding protection of and development of the Halifax Common.

Write to Help Protect Former Home & Clinic of Dr. Clement Ligoure—5812-14 North Street

On January 24th HRM Mayor and Council will decide if they will support FHC’s 2022 Heritage Designation Application and help protect the former home and clinic of Dr. Clement Ligoure at 5812-14 North Street by giving it heritage designation.

Please write to help protect this important building as a legacy to Nova Scotia’s first black doctor, co-founder of Canada’s first all black military battalion and editor of Nova Scotia’s first black newspaper.  A draft letter, email addresses and details on Dr. Ligoure are below:
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Send Your Comments to Help Make the Halifax Common Plan Better!

Dear Friends,

HRM is continuing its ‘public consultation’ on the Halifax Common draft plan via an on-line survey or comments until February 28, 2023.  That’s because Mayor Savage and HRM Council supported HRM’s Community Economic Development standing committee’s excellent recommendation in January 2022 to bring it back to the public for feedback. (view video of committee meeting

This plan is critical to the future of the Halifax Common.

That’s why we want HRM staff to do more than an online survey or emailed comments. That’s no substitute for public presentations and engagement. We are also very concerned that HRM has not consulted with the public about the Wanderers Block and that it is engaging in side deals.

Please email commonplan@halifax.ca to ask for actual public presentation(s) of the revised document followed with opportunities for public feedback. And to also ask that there be public consultation on the Wanderers Block. In the meantime, below are draft notes you can use to help you to write more detailed comments to HRM.
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Tribute to Alan Ruffman, FHC director, by Howard Epstein

“He did seriously live his values and show people how to make things better. And what better thing can be said about a person?”

The passing of our friend ‘Citizen Ruffman’ was a terrible way to end a terrible year. Linda and Alan have always been a fixture of intelligent, articulate, and progressive local politics. I realize that I have known Alan for almost 50 years. He was around in the early days of the Ecology Action Centre and already involved in keeping a close eye on the doings of our municipal council, which never failed to disappoint him.

Alan was central in the populist agitation to stop the proposed ‘Harbour Drive’, resulting in the saving and later renovation of what is now ‘Historic Properties’, a rare outpost of valuing Halifax heritage.

We have worked together with many others to try to resist the worst of local planning and other decisions: proposals for around the Citadel, for elsewhere in the Downtown, for intrusions on The Common, for the Offshore.

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Please Sign the Petition to Stop the Demolitions

Is Halifax’s Centre Plan an undiagnosed pandemic? Its triggered 100s of building ‘deaths’ – Please sign to stop: shorturl.at/dlxET 

The Robie Street buildings below are some of dozens in HRM that are going, going, gone….

We’ve no record of how many units but a map of 454 building demolition permits since January 2020 shocks. We all see, feel and understand that these demolitions harm affordability, community, character & climate. Photos remind us how negligent and wasteful it is. Continue reading

Robie Street Widening – Citizens to HRM: “Don’t Wreck the Neighbourhood, there are better options!”

Citizens living in the Robie Street neighbourhood between Cunard and North Street oppose HRM’s plans to expropriate private land to widen the Street.  Thanks to the many who wrote or presented at the HRM Regional Centre Community Council’s  December 14 public hearing in Dartmouth.  Widening will result in as many as 18 buildings being demolished and at least as many beautiful mature trees – most are Elm.  A simple, cheaper solution to create bus lanes would be overhead bi-directional signals (like on Chebucto, the MacDonald Bridge or Toronto’s Jarvis Street).  Why not plan to keep the character, community and health of the city?

Overhead bi-directional signals like Chebucto Road would reallocate existing road space for bus lanes based on the time of day. (Photo: Bob Murphy, CBC)

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Halifax Common Master Plan, Wanderers Block & Public Garden Greenhouses Needs Full Public Consultation

FHC want the Friends of Public Gardens’ proposal for new greenhouses on the Wanderers Block to be included as part of the on-going public consultation for the Common Master Plan.

Plans for a Victorian greenhouse proposed by the Public Gardens Foundation on the Wanderers Grounds. – Public Gardens Foundation https://www.saltwire.com/halifax/news/8-million-year-round-greenhouse-proposed-for-wanderers-grounds-100796396/#.Y3agxJ3VqCM.twitter

While supportive of the concept FHC worries that so far HRM staff and consultants refuse to include the Wanderers Block during the any phase of the public consultation although asked to. The on-going lack of real and transparent public consultation has led to a loss of open space and failure to recapture or add to that space.

HRM’s secret dealings with Derek Martin’s Sports Atlantic have privatized the use of the Wanderers Playing Field. Martin is now looking to turn his for profit trial ‘temporary pop up stadium’ into a 10,000 seat permanent venue. “Because there is a history of projects proceeding on the Halifax Common on an ad hoc basis, there is a significant lack of cohesion within the Common – it is a collection of parts,” writes Howard Epstein, FHC Director.

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