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Petition opposes hospital redevelopment impact on Halifax Common

Marcel Tarnogorski created this rendering of what the new QE2 parking garage might look like on the commons property beside the Museum of Natural History. - File
Marcel Tarnogorski created this rendering of what the new QE2 parking garage might look like on the commons property beside the Museum of Natural History. - File

THE CHRONICLE HERALD

A petition spearheaded by the Friends of the Commons seeking to limit the impact of the planned QEII hospital expansion project garnered nearly 3,000 signatures.

The petition was tabled at the regular city council session on Tuesday.

The group gathered 2,882 electronic signatures from Feb. 4 to Sunday and called for four main goals: That all proposed plans for the entire expansion be made public, that expansion of any components of the Halifax Infirmary portion across Summer Street not be allowed, that HRM commit to not selling any more parcels of the Common and seek legislation from the province to protect the Common, and that the province revisit a plan to demolish the Infirmary's current parkade on Robie Street due to economic and environmental concerns.

The province released its full plan online as part of a presentation made to council about the project on Tuesday.

The $2-billion overall plan will transfer all cancer care to a new building on the Infirmary site and expand inpatient and outpatient facilities. A new research and innovation centre would accommodate medical, nursing and other health-care students as well as new grads. Three new buildings would have underground parking in addition to a planned parkade. The plan also includes a new outpatient centre in Bayers Lake to handle patients travelling from outside the city and expansion of the Dartmouth General Hospital.

The project called for the building of a parkade on one side of the Museum of Natural History across Summer Street from the current Infirmary site. That would entail taking some land used by the Bengal Lancers riding club for their paddock. A power plant would also have been built on the other side of the museum on Common land.

That has been put on hold while city and provincial officials discuss alternatives.

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