Peggy Cameron: The Halifax Common’s 240 acres is ~ 20-25% parking lots. There is an obvious opportunity to re-naturalize, re-wild or landscape them to create new park space and a cheap, efficient way to deal with major impacts from climate change. But Mayor Savage and Council have no plans to change this usage. In fact they recently approved plans for a new 8-storey parking garage by the NS Museum of Natural History. That’s despite ~3,000 citizens petitioning against the garage and for protection of the Halifax Common.

Friends of Halifax Common has written to HRM Mayor and Council asking that they refuse the province’s latest proposal for a provincial parking garage for the Halifax Infirmary – which is to not build a 7-storey parkade on the south side of the Natural History Museum; but instead to build an 8-storey on the north side of the Museum; and, to join the Hospital to the new parking garage by way of a pedway above Summer Street.

News release: Two proposals for four towers (16-, 20-, 23-, 29-storeys) on a single block between Carlton, Spring Garden Road, Robie and College Street will be considered at HRM’s Peninsula Advisory Committee Monday meeting and Heritage Advisory Committee’s Wednesday meeting. Friends of Halifax Common August letter to HRM Mayor Savage asking for a halt to the projects and for a Conservation District has not been responded to. FHC’s request was made when it learned that formal detailed requests made for an area Conservation District in 2012 and again in 2016 were ignored. These requests should be considered in advance of any new projects.

Peggy Cameron, founding member of Friends of the Halifax Common, takes issue with a proposal now before Council to build a soccer stadium on the Wanderer’s Grounds, to remain there for at least the next three years. There are lots of issues, Cameron writes, but ” the larger issue is the private use of the public’s space for private profit of a private businessman.”

This weekend’s poem, night cemetery by Robin Metcalfe, was inspired by the ghastly murder of John William Tha Din in 1988 in the Halifax Camp Hill Cemetery, a well known gay cruising area at the time. It’s from Writing the Common, a wonderful collection of poems about the Halifax Commons by a great bunch of local poets, published in 2013, by Gaspereau Press.

This week we feature a poem by David Huebert about the colonization of the Halifax Commons. April was poetry month, and we managed to not publish one single poem. But never mind, it’s May, and we have another poetic surprise planned for next weekend.