Category Archives: IN THE MEDIA

FHC in the news, in magazines, on TV, articles published about FHC. (not by FHC)

Halifax Infirmary parkade plan draws criticism

Chronicle Herald, Nov 4, Francis Campbell

The new parking plan for the Halifax Infirmary site is drawing criticism.

Rendering of the parking garage to be located next to the Museum of Natural History on Summer Street, on Halifax Common. (Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal Depart.)

“It’s clearly the case that the hospital is not even thinking about what are the benefits of public open space, they are just going ahead and doing the easiest thing to accommodate a growing demand for cars in a time when we are supposed to be reducing our reliance on cars,” said Peggy Cameron, a member of the non-profit community group Friends of the Halifax Common.

Cameron questioned why the parkade announcement was made Thursday, the day after the legislature had completed its fall sitting and a day after government had passed environmental legislation that requires the province to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 53 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and for Nova Scotia to hit a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050. Continue reading

95.7 Rick Howe – Do Mayor & Council Enable Demolitions?

There are approximately 45-50 buildings under threat of demolition or already under the wrecking ball.  What is the role of the Mayor and Council? What can they do?  Why haven’t they done it?  And why are demolition permits being handed out “left, right and centre”?

Danny Chedrawe has demolished 7 character buildings-his new 7-storey construct will block the view of Citadel Hill from the 5-storey "Halifax Livingroom" of the new Central Library. https://www.halifaxexaminer.ca/province-house/drinking-with-a-dead-man-morning-file-wednesday-may-4-2016/

Danny Chedrawe’s Westwood Ltd. has demolished 7 character buildings-his new 7-storey construct will block the view of Citadel Hill from the 5-storey “Halifax Living-room” of the new Central Library. photo-Halifax Examiner –see more here.

Rick Howe Interview: St Pat’s Land- Plan For Our Future

Common Roots Urban Farm is an inspiration. In 2007 instead of returning the former QEHS land to the Halifax Common as promised, HRM traded it to Capital Health. FHC and smart Capital Health decision-makers agreed that a community garden would be a good interim use. In the 5 years since a valid public consultation, gardening doula Jayme Melrose’s imaginative

In 5 years Jayme Melrose and her team of volunteers have transformed the QEHS land into a place of productive beauty. Let's have a vision for St Pat's that's bigger than a developer's profit.

The QEHS land is now a place of productive beauty. We need a vision for St Pat’s that is bigger than a developer’s profit.

guidance and amazing volunteers have transformed it into a productive, edible landscape. But it’s temporary.
Rick Howe’s interview with Peggy Cameron explains why the Mayor & Council’s decision to sell St. Pat’s is just as short-sighted as the loss of QEHS. Listen to the recording below and then write <clerks@halifax.ca> to tell them to keep the St Pat’s land public.

Halifax Examiner: Wanderers Ground “unsafe”

“The Wanderers Ground is a soggy mess.”  writes Tim Bousquet (Aug. 28).  That’s why a long-planned Rugby Canada Match against Glasgow (Scotland) Warriors scheduled for the Halifax Common’s Wanderer’s Grounds had to be re-located to Spryfield.
Read the story below for details on how the Halifax Common remains a city priority.

The Wanderers Ground is a soggy mess. Photo: Halifax Examiner

The Wanderers Ground is a soggy mess. Photo: Halifax Examiner

Rugby took centre stage at a Halifax council meeting in June, when, citing the potential Continue reading

Herald Opinion – Halifax Common Takes Another Hit

Published June 22, 2015 –
On June 23, 1763, King George III granted 240 acres of common land “to and for the use of the inhabitants of the town of Halifax as Common forever.” Unwittingly, this year the city will commemorate the anniversary by cutting several mature trees to make way for a roundabout at the Cogswell/North Park/Ahern/Trollope intersection.This is a fitting tribute to the ongoing

The proposed developments will block  the common view of the western sky and will increase wind, shadow and traffic.

The proposed developments will block the common view of the western sky and will increase wind, shadow and traffic.

onslaught of the Common, whereby less than 30 acres remain as public open space. And it suits the city’s habit of ignoring the 1994 Halifax Common Plan to protect it by not decreasing the amount of public open space or the amount of city-owned land, and to increase the amount of land under city ownership through recapture of lands.

Examples of giveaways include the lands of the former Queen Elizabeth High School, Grace Maternity Hospital and Civic Hospital, School for the Blind and its adjacent block of Tower Road as well as the side-yards of All Saints Cathedral. Next will be the CBC-TV and the Victoria General Hospital lands. And decisions for the permanent Oval, the Oval building, the roundabouts and several public art projects were all outside of an integrated Halifax Common Master Plan.

Now, after a 21-year wait, this year’s municipal budget included money to begin the planning process. Time is not on the Common’s side. Developers are unjustifiably making extensive use Continue reading

CBC Radio Interview- Common’s Death by a Thousand Cuts

People walk up Citadel Hill through some thick fog on Thursday in Halifax-photo by Jeff Harper, Metro News

People walk up Citadel Hill through some thick fog on Thursday in Halifax-photo by Jeff Harper, Metro News

On the eve of the Halifax Common’s 252 anniversary CBC Mainstreet’s Stephanie Domet interviews Peggy Cameron.  The conversation outlines the many decisions that the city is making in advance of an integrated master plan for the Halifax Common.

There are no rules. Individual decisions outside of a plan are having a cumulative impact and are diminishing the Common.  These also preclude the outcome of any planning process related to the now promised Halifax Common Master Plan.

Concerned about what Common will be left for posterity?  Or that the Mayor and Council have no vision for the Common?
Email the Mayor and Council at:  clerks@halifax.ca.

(begins at 4:10)

Urban Halifax stream dormant but not gone

Op Ed for the Chronicle Herald by John DeMont.

Ben Wedge, pictured in Victoria Park, has found a correlation between the presence of flourishing trees and the locations of underground water systems in Halifax. (CHRISTIAN LAFORCE / Staff)

Ben Wedge, pictured in Victoria Park, has found a correlation between the presence of flourishing trees and the locations of underground water systems in Halifax. (CHRISTIAN LAFORCE / Staff)

It occurred like so many great insights have at Charlie’s Club on a Wednesday night, with the smell of hops and the click-click-click of pool balls in the north-end Halifax air.

Ben Wedge, born in Summerside, P.E.I., with a mind that is interested in many things, was nursing a Garrison beer and Googling a map of Halifax on his iPad Continue reading

Is Parking for the Common Good?

Letter To The Coast Magazine by Peggy Cameron, Coordinator, Friends of the Halifax Common

Why should parking be convenient? Get on board, support commuter rail at: halifax.ca/transit/commuterrail.php      The Coast Image credit: Jenn Wall, Cunard Street at North Common

Great job describing myriad reasons why metro pedestrians feel they’re the last on the list. I suspect it’s not the sidewalks that have patience maxed out but also the long-term failure of the city to develop an integrated transportation policy. Decades of widening streets to improve capacity and speed of vehicles (more recently it’s a roundabout fetish) has been to the detriment of meeting real transportation Continue reading

Effective Lighting & Public Safety on the Common

Letter To The Coast Magazine by Peggy Cameron, Coordinator, Friends of the Halifax Common

Lumieres law-the further the light is from the source the lower the intensity.  Multiple stadium lights without cut-offs installed on too-tall poles at The Oval are a glaring example of ineffective and inefficient lighting design.

Lumieres law-the further the light is from the source the lower the intensity. Multiple stadium lights without cut-offs installed on too-tall poles at The Oval are a glaring example of ineffective and inefficient lighting design.

Glare And Present Danger – Letter to the Editor, January 15, 2015.  Although we can feel vulnerable walking alone at night, there no evidence that bright lights reduce crime. (Streetlight scarcity casts risky shadows,” feature by Ameya Charnalie and Sergio Gonzalez, How to fix the city issue January 8).
That’s not to say Halifax doesn’t have lots of problems with  lighting. There is a public safety issue when people need to be able to Continue reading

The Common Streetscape vs Towers, Wind & Shadows

Why is another Halifax neighbourhood up for grabs?
Chronicle Herald Op Ed, Jan. 14, 2015
by Andrea Arbic, Peggy Cameron, Kathy Moggridge, Steve Parcell and J. Grant Wanzel

The corner of Quinpool and Robie streets in Halifax: “If the two proposals proceed, we’d get a massive block of towers with more traffic, noise, shadow, wind and a much larger carbon footprint,” say critics. (ERIC WYNNE/Staff)

The corner of Quinpool and Robie streets in Halifax: “If the two proposals proceed, we’d get a massive block of towers with more traffic, noise, shadow, wind and a much larger carbon footprint,” say critics. (ERIC WYNNE/Staff)

HRMʼs Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law were intended to guide a rational planning process for the city. They were developed through extensive public consultation and approved by our elected representatives on HRM council. By representing citizensʼ shared view of what constitutes “the public good,” these documents should minimize individual negotiations with private interests. Continue reading

Letter to Herald- Will Halifax City Council See The Wisdom of Daylighting River?

Example of a landscaped raingarden to absorb stormwater and create habitat.

Example of a landscaped raingarden to absorb stormwater and create habitat.

Paul Schneiderheit’s story highlights the benefits of daylighting streams. Jan 6, 2015- Chronicle Herald – Schneiderheit One omission is that HRM’s 2006 daylighting policy specifies two water courses: Dartmouth’s Sawmill River and the Halifax Common’s Freshwater Brook.

We’re generally unaware that the Halifax Common as the watershed for the peninsula was a rich and diverse ecosystem of plants, trees, birds, fish, frogs-all manner of critters and beasties.  Ruth Whitehead Holmes’ The’ Old Man Told Us, Excerpts from Micmac History, 1500-1950 “ recounts histories of Mi’kmaq hunting beaver, Black Duck and moose near Black Duck Pond, later Egg Pond and now the skatepark. Continue reading

Letter To The Coast – Roundabouts – Wrong Priority for the Common

total cost estimate $31 million (2011)

total cost estimate $31 million (2011)

Letters to the editor, July 31, 2014, Sidewalk Closed Use Other Side – Julat like spending millions of dollars to widen Robie St. at Cunard or millions to widen Chebucto Road itself, blowing $12.9 million on the North Park roundabouts project is out of sync with a big-picture integrated transportation strategy. The money will do nothing to reduce heavy reliance on cars by improving public transit (buses and trains), land use planning (better ways to access public transportation and active transportation) or moving people in and out of the downtown, not just cars. Continue reading

North Common Roundabout – The Big Picture, News 95.7 Rick Howe Show

 

Listen to News 95.7 The Rick Howe Show Interview with Peggy Cameron

On July 7/14 Rick Howe interviewed Peggy Cameron (representing Friends of the Halifax Common) about The Big Picture and the $12.9 million dollars spent on the North Park Roundabouts. Peggy questions how this expenditure meets HRM’s stated long term goals.

North Common Roundabout Design (birdseye)Cogswell/Rainie/Ahern

Trees, Traffic & Roundabouts

FHC isn’t wading into the pro or anti roundabout on North Park Street debate but instead asks…

North Park Street

North Park Street

1. How does this $12.9 million expenditure fit into an integrated transportation strategy* that is about moving people, not just cars into and out of the downtown?  Should the cost $12.9 million be a spending priority when HRM’s 5-year Active Transportation budget is only $42.5  ( ~ $8 million/year); the bikelane budget for the peninsula the next 5 years is only ~$100,000 and there’s no money for supporting auto-ownership-alternatives such as CarShare?
2. Why are these roundabouts being installed in advance of…. Continue reading