District 8 candidate Virginia Hinch: “The community needs somebody who is going to fight for them”

Virginia Hinch. Contributed.

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – As she did four years ago, Virginia Hinch is once again challenging Lindell Smith in the municipal election for District 8 councillor 

In 2016 she stepped aside and threw her support behind Smith. This year she is in the race to win, she says. “I would like to make history being the first Black woman on Council,” she tells the Nova Scotia Advocate.

“I am a candidate because members of my community have asked me to run due to the challenges that they’re facing within the community,” Hinch says.

“Back in 2016, I had planned to run, and then I decided to bow out gracefully and back Lindell Smith, with the promise and understanding that Council would address the lack of affordable housing. Well, that has not happened. HRM must get on the ball and instead of selling all its housing stock off it should keep some stock and make it affordable,” says Hinch.

She points to the Bloomfield School debacle as an example of a missed opportunity. “I’m so disappointed that they sold that again from underneath the community,” she says. “No discussion around that whatsoever, all three levels of government should have been involved in that project and it should have gone through.”

See also: Imagine Bloomfield: Lament for a great idea

“We’re being pushed out of our communities. A lot of community members are being pushed out of our communities because they no longer can afford it. You know, once you put the high end apartments in and the condos in, then property taxes go up, and that has  an effect as well.”

On paper at least there are few differences between the platforms of Hinch and Lindell Smith. So what is it that Hinch believes she can offer that would warrant a new councillor?

“In my current position at the Metropolitan Regional Housing Authority I need to be responsive. If elected  I will respond to any concerns or complaints that people may have, because right now, unfortunately, that’s the concern,” says Hinch.

“Lindell is a great person, but I think the community needs somebody who is going to fight for them. Who’s going to take their concerns directly to Council, without worrying about what the other councillors may say. I know that I will be working for my community and not for the other councillors,” she says.

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One Comment

  1. St Pat’s is another example of a public property that the Mayor/Council have sold. After Councillor Smith presented a petition at City Hall on behalf of ~800 citizens who wanted to retain it as a community garden/park space we heard nothing from him in their defence (or all the other citizens who has gone through a bogus public consultation process) about it being sold to the highest bidder with no provisos for public anything let alone affordable housing.

    Last June Lindell put forward a motion to allow Danny Chedrawe to begin a Development Agreement process to build a 23 storey building on Robie next to (then) George Armoyen’s 25 storey building. This motion, supported by council, was against the recommendation of HRM staff and it was against the Centre Plan. This high-rise will further degrade the public’s experience on the North Common because of more wind, more shade and more traffic. And it will shatter any of the possibility for homeowners/renters who live on Parker Street to peacefully enjoy their homes.

    Finally Councillor Smith supported a very last minute and very un-consultated decision by staff to slip in some residential street properties into the Corridor classification and increase the permitted height. One in particular was on Charles Street where 120 citizens-90 of whom directly live in the area, signed a petition asking that the property on Charles Street next to Robie be removed. Lindell stated that he supported the decision and that he had consulted with the community-as we were holding the petition and explaining our concerns to him. He refused to hear the concerns and he would not engage in supporting his electorate. At that location a 4-6 storey building (potentially 7 as pent houses are as-of-right) can now be built that will occupy over half of the very small block on Charles.
    And what of Cogswell?
    Very disappointing.

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