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City staff forced to end event early as crowd becomes disruptive

By Joe Thomson Apr 13, 2023 | 3:22 PM

Source: Twitter @Rossitus

Unhappy residents forced an event discussing a new housing project in Halifax to end early.

Halifax Regional Councilor Shawn Cleary and his staff were forced to call the event short due to continued disruptions from the crowd. At one point, Cleary could be seen using a bullhorn to plead with the attendees to voice their concerns in a more orderly manner.

The project is called the West End Mall Future Growth Node and would create over 5,000 new housing units near the Halifax Shopping Centre. In addition to the new housing units, the project includes plans for new streets and an underground bus terminal, as well as new commercial space.

Councilor Cleary said that he was disappointed by the crowd, considering the desperate need for new homes as the province deals with the ongoing housing crisis.

“I never expected at a public meeting to have an older lady with an actual megaphone, get up on a stage and start jacking up the crowd and asking people to oppose this,” said Cleary.

The event was the first chance that residents had to voice their opinions on the development. On their official website, the city describes these events as an opportunity, “to hear your ideas and vision for the future of the site. Your feedback will help us develop more detailed guiding policies for this site.”

Due to the disruptive way in which the attendees voiced their ‘ideas and vision’, Cleary and his staff felt no choice but to end the event early.

“Our staff came up to us and said, ‘we just can’t continue unfortunately, there’s no way to salvage this’ so we had to shut it down,” said Cleary.

Cleary says that the city will be back, although perhaps in a different format that give people more information up front about what is expected of them during the meeting. He feels that this development could be a huge boon to the city.

“This is probably one of the most unique opportunities Halifax has had in building a community probably since the Second World War,” said Cleary.


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