Nova Scotia

Africville lawsuit won't include former residents who signed 2010 claim

A judge has ruled that dozens of people will not be allowed to join a legal case over the relocation of Africville residents in Halifax in the 1960s.

Settlement included a public apology from then-mayor Peter Kelly

Africville's Seaview United Baptist Church, left, as it appeared in 1964.

A judge has ruled that dozens of people will not be allowed to join a legal case over the relocation of Africville residents in Halifax in the 1960s.

The former residents had argued that they should be allowed to be part of a 1996 statement of claim seeking redress of the expropriation of land in the black community.

They had signed release claims in 2010 after a settlement was reached with the municipality, but said they should be allowed to join the ongoing legal matter.

However, Judge Patrick Duncan says in his 35-page decision that those who signed the releases did so with legal counsel and knowing the effect of the agreement.

That settlement included a public apology from then-mayor Peter Kelly and $3 million to rebuild the Africville church, among other things.

The attorney for the residents wasn't available for comment, but Karen MacDonald, the lawyer for the City of Halifax, says adding former residents who already signed off on the settlement would have effectively reopened the deal.

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