Nova Scotia

Court blocks sale of St. Pat's-Alex

A Nova Scotia court has temporarily blocked the sale of the former St. Patrick's-Alexandra school site to a developer.

A Nova Scotia court has temporarily blocked the sale of the former St. Patrick's-Alexandra school site to a developer.

Several community groups, including the North End Community Health Association, turned to the court to stop the sale to Jono Developments Ltd.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Patrick Duncan issued the stay Wednesday, saying it would stay in effect until the court issued another order.

Jane Moloney, the executive director of the North End Community Health Association, was the one who filed the affidavit that halted Halifax Regional Municipality's sale of the school property.

"It's a huge relief to believe that there is actually this thing called justice and accountability," she told CBC News.

"It's just about the judge saying, 'You know what? We need to have time to review all of that before you rush this sale through and make it a done deal.'"

Halifax regional council initially agreed to sell the property, but later reversed itself under pressure from the community. Council then changed its mind again and voted in favour of the sale with Jono Developments.

The sale was finalized on Tuesday, in a 16-7 vote to repeal the policy on the disposal of public buildings that called for community groups to be given the first crack to take over surplus municipal properties, if their submissions were deemed feasible.

Peter Kelly, the mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality, said the current practice will continue.

"Council felt that rather than reinvent what we're doing, is to take the practice as policy and go in that direction," he told reporters on Thursday.

Joe Metlege, the president of Jono Developments Ltd., said his company has followed the rules and he still wants to proceed with the residential and commercial development on the site.

"We have to study it, we have to see what the other sides positions are," he told CBC News.

"I stand behind the proposal that we've put forward. I truly believe that it's an excellent, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, not only for that site but for that community."

The city and members of the community groups will be back in court on Feb. 16.

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