Nova Scotia

Concerns raised about another infill proposal for Halifax's Northwest Arm

A second Halifax homeowner is applying to infill in front of her waterfront property. Amanda Amelin posted a notice of her intention under the Canadian Navigable Waters Act in a newspaper Friday.

In application, homeowner seeks to make improvements to seawall and dock and provide infill

This photo shows the location of a proposed infill along the Northwest Arm in Halifax. Now a second property owner is proposing to infill. (Transport Canada)

A second Halifax homeowner is applying to infill in front of her waterfront property.

Amanda Amelin posted a notice of her intention under the Canadian Navigable Waters Act in a newspaper Friday.

Amelin owns a property on Maplewood Lane in south-end Halifax, an area of multimillion-dollar homes with water frontage on the historic Northwest Arm.

In her application, Amelin said she wants to make improvements to a seawall and a dock and provide infill.

Quick response

Environmentalists were quick to respond.

"It's wrong to infill the arm, no more infill, it can't happen," Halifax-based developer Allan Shaw said Friday.

Shaw is the chairman of the Shaw Group. He grew up on the Northwest Arm and still lives there.

He joined a group of environmentalists and a campaigning federal politician in a park on the shore of the arm to voice his concerns.

Shaw said he and the others have been campaigning since a proposal earlier this year by another homeowner to add a massive extension to their waterfront property. That plan is still being assessed by various government departments.

Political concern

Liberal candidate Andy Fillmore, who represented the Halifax riding before the election call, joined the environmentalists in opposing the infill.

"Today's commitment is about stopping infilling before the first domino falls that could set a precedent that would be devastating for our Northwest Arm," Fillmore said from Horseshoe Island Park, which juts out into the arm.

Three federal departments — Fisheries, Environment and Transportation — have some degree of oversight over requests to infill in coastal waterways.

CBC News reached out to candidates in the Halifax riding for the other main political parties.

Call for moratorium

In an email, Green Party candidate Jo-Ann Roberts said there should be a moratorium on infilling until the issue is fully studied.

"In a time when we need to be considering the effect of climate change on our coastline it is important we understand what infill would mean for marine life, paddlers and watercraft, and extreme weather risk," she wrote.

NDP candidate Lisa Roberts said infilling the Northwest Arm is "unacceptable."

"There has to be a means and a mechanism legally found so that this is not considered on a case-by-case basis, but so that the Arm can be protected for all of its uses and all of its users."

The Conservative candidate did not immediately respond.

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