Green light given to St. John's Native Friendship Centre daycare
Council approved it despite some opposition from future daycare neighbours
St. John's city councillors have approved a controversial daycare for the city's east end.
St. John's Native Friendship Centre will open the new facility near the intersection of Elizabeth Avenue and Portugal Cove Road.
The gallery at city hall was filled with supporters of the daycare on Monday when councillors voted.
Despite some concerns over traffic and parking, most councillors were satisfied with the plans for the centre on Elizabeth Avenue.
Sheilagh O'Leary is one of the councilors who spoke in favour of the daycare.
"For heaven sakes it's children we're talking about, it's children, taking care of children in our community, it's our social responsibility," she said.
In the end only two councillors — Danny Breen and Sandy Hickman — voted against the centre, saying they were concerned about safety on a busy street.
The city is likely to put conditions on the daycare, including requirements that most children be bused to reduce traffic volumes.
The St. John's Native Friendship Centre wants to convert a home on Elizabeth Avenue into the child-care centre that would accommodate about 30 children during weekdays. The centre says it will work with authorities before opening the new daycare.
"The next plans are we have to acquire the property then we have to work together with the province and architects on the renovations," said David Penner, head of the St. John's Native Friendship Centre.
Penner says it will likely take about a year to get the daycare up and running.