Write to Parks Canada “Don’t Pave National Park Green Space for Parking”

(Ki’jupuk) Nova Scotia Health and Parks Canada intend to pave green space on the Garrison Grounds for healthcare parking. This public green space on the Citadel National Park is historically used for gathering, playing, music, and all forms of enjoyment.

Please read details in the CBC article below, then send your comments/concerns/no ways!! to the following by April 24th.

Parks Canada: halifax@pc.gc.ca
Minister of Environment: Steven.Guilbeault@parl.gc.ca
Federal MP: andy.fillmore@parl.gc.ca

CBC ARTICLE:
Nova Scotia Health’s proposed paving over grass for a parking lot on the Garrison Grounds at Parks Canada’s Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

“A new lot with 140 stalls could ease the upcoming loss of a nearby parkade”, says the provincial Crown corporation. The area marked in yellow is currently a grassy space at the base of Halifax’s Citadel Hill. Build Nova Scotia, a provincial Crown corporation, wants it to be paved to create 140 additional parking stalls for health-care workers who will be losing a parkade on Robie Street later this year. (Submitted by Parks Canada)

NS Health’s proposed parking lot paving project on the Garrison Grounds at Parks Canada’s Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

A new parking lot at the base of Citadel Hill is on the table as the Province prepares to demolish a nearby parkade for a major hospital redevelopment project.

Crown corporation Build Nova Scotia wants to put 140 new parking spots on the Garrison Grounds at the southwest corner of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.

The open lot would partly make up for the loss of the Robie Street parkade at the Halifax Infirmary. That parking structure, which has over 600 spaces, is marked for demolition to make way for the redevelopment of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre.

Dr. Alex Mitchell, vice-president of clinical infrastructure at Nova Scotia Health and Build Nova Scotia, said the parkade will come down this year. “The date of that will be announced with plenty of time for people to prepare,” Mitchell told reporters at a ground-breaking event Wednesday for the hospital redevelopment project.

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The yellow area shows the proposed parking lot at the base of Citadel Hill. (Submitted by Parks Canada)

“But in order to facilitate the ongoing excavation and construction of the new building, it will have to come down [by the] summer [or] fall of this year,” Mitchell said.

David Benoit, Build Nova Scotia President and CEO, said health-care workers have made it clear they need parking close to work. “We looked at a number of different solutions,” said Benoit. “The one that makes the most sense, the one that we think will be able to be delivered in the time that we expect the Robie Street parkade to come down, is the Garrison Grounds,” Benoit told reporters at Province House on Wednesday.

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David Benoit is President and CEO of Build Nova Scotia. (Michael Gorman/CBC)

The lot would be open to the public, but Nova Scotia Health said in an email that a proportion of the spaces would be protected for use by the health authority on a first–come, first-served basis.

Staff would pay a rate on par with what they pay at other health authority parkades.

Proposal open for public comment

Citadel Hill is federal property managed by Parks Canada, which is assessing the province’s proposal.

The proposal is open for public comment until April 24.

Benoit said if the proposal is turned down, Build Nova Scotia will revisit other options, but he declined to say what those are.

The province has previously said it’s looked at offsite parking options that might require a shuttle.

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Nova Scotia wants to pave the green space between two existing parking lots at the base of Citadel Hill to create 140 new stalls. (Daniel Jardine/CBC)

It’s not clear what the project would cost the province, but the expense would fall under the QEII hospital redevelopment project, which is expected to cost billions of dollars. The work would be done by Plenary PCL Health, which has been hired to oversee the entire hospital project.

Nova Scotia Health said Parks Canada would receive revenue from the expanded lot.

‘Completely counter’ to climate action

Peggy Cameron, from the non-profit Friends of Halifax Common, said she’s discouraged by the parking lot proposal.

“Paving any green space at this time to increase parking is completely counter to what any level of government ought to be doing if they’re really seriously understanding the climate crisis, or if they’re seriously planning for a city that has proper public transportation,” she said in an interview.

She encouraged the public to submit feedback to Parks Canada while the opportunity is available.

Taryn Grant · CBC News · Posted: Mar 28, 2024