More Transparency and Accountability Needed in PC Housing Bill

The Liberal Party will be introducing amendments today to the PC government’s housing bill. The Liberals are asking for changes that would necessitate the HRM planning task force to publicly disclose the projects it’s considering, and change wording in the bill to ensure the panel doesn’t supersede the city’s existing planning bylaws.

This comes on the heels of growing concerns that the planning group – to be comprised of two HRM representatives, two provincial representatives and a chairperson appointed by the Minister of Housing- will have the power to override the municipality’s current planning framework.

“These changes are necessary to ensure the panel doesn’t become a closed-off process that weakens the city’s planning powers,” says former HRM deputy mayor, and current Cole Harbour-Dartmouth MLA Lorelei Nicoll. “HRM’s Regional Plan was developed after extensive input from the public, so we need to make sure this bill respects that.”

Nicoll was also the chair of HRM’s standing committees on Transportation, and Community Planning and Economic Development. She will join Liberal Leader Iain Rankin at the law amendments committee this evening to introduce these changes to the Housing in the Halifax Regional Municipality Act.

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