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Talks Continuing on Proposed Memorial to Africville
(Monday, June 21/04)- Halifax Regional Municipality is working with the federal and provincial governments to establish a fitting memorial for the former community of Africville.
Mayor Peter Kelly, speaking on behalf of Regional Council, said today that HRM's offer of land and services on the site of the former Africville in north end Halifax would form the basis of the memorial project.
"Council will be discussing some further details of this proposal tomorrow and we are hopeful there could be a joint government announcement on this issue before the end of the summer," he said.
In a recent letter to African-Nova Scotia Affairs Minister Barry Barnet, Mayor Kelly advised the province that HRM extended the offer to the Africville Genealogical Society in 2002 . HRM has not received a formal response to the offer yet. (The letter was also copied to Fisheries and Oceans Minister Geoff Regan, MP for Halifax West).
The framework for resolution includes:
some land zoned Park and Institutional at the former Africville site (adjoining Seaview Park). This could be used to construct a church/interpretive centre.
environmental remediation for the site
water and on-site septic for the site
seed funds towards construction of a church/interpretive centre
some funds towards Legal Counsel for the Africville Genealogy Society, based on docketed time for resolution participation
Mayor Kelly said Regional Council established the framework for the offer and it was also very clear that there would be no personal compensation, no dwellings on the land, and no funding for entrepreneurial purposes.
Minister Regan said today that he has discussed the proposed Africville project with some of his colleagues in the federal Cabinet and he is hopeful that some funding will be made available for this very important matter.
"The former Africville church was both the spiritual soul and the heart of that community. A replica of the original church, as well as a genealogical/interpretative centre, would be a very special memorial to the community of Africville,"he said.
Mayor Peter Kelly
Honourable Geoff Regan
Minister, Fisheries and Oceans
Corporate Communications Officer