Nova Scotia

Africville lawsuit decision reserved by judge

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has reserved his decision on proposed amendments to a statement of claim filed nearly 20 years ago by dozens of people who were evicted from a black community in Halifax.

Judge ruling on adding plaintiffs to case against city

Eddie Carvery is one of the members of the lawsuit. (CBC)

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has reserved his decision on proposed amendments to a statement of claim filed nearly 20 years ago by dozens of people who were evicted from a black community in Halifax.

The judge did not say when the decision would come. 

Dozens of people packed the courtroom, leading the judge to switch to a bigger courtroom. 

Lawyer Robert Pineo argued in court Wednesday that the City of Halifax expropriated the land in Africville in the 1960s but did not follow its own rules under the city's charter.

Pineo says the residents were never informed at the time that there was a process they could follow to appeal the amount of compensation they were offered for the land.

Pineo also argued that the new expropriation evidence should mean that roughly 60 people who signed release claims in 2010 after a settlement was reached with the municipality should be included in the statement of claim.

The city is not disputing the amendment to add the evidence of expropriation but says adding the former residents who already signed releases would effectively reopen a settlement that was reached.

Pineo says if the amendment is accepted, the next step would be to seek certification for a class-action lawsuit, which he estimates could involved about 300 people.

Eddie Carvery grew up in Africville and has been protesting there since 1970.

"Hopefully, justice will be served," he said Wednesday. "We've been fighting for just since they blazed our community in the '60s."

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