Nova Scotia

'Make the plans public,' councillor says about planned Halifax Infirmary parking garage

A Halifax councillor wants the province to pause its plan to build a parking garage on the Halifax Common until there has been more public consultation.

Coun. Waye Mason says Summer Street parking garage doesn't respect the look of the Halifax Common

District 7 Coun. Waye Mason says he's speaking out now because he believes a tender for the parking garage will be issued by Friday. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

A Halifax councillor wants the province to pause its plan to build a parking garage on the Halifax Common until there has been more public consultation.

The province plans to build a garage on Summer Street for the Halifax Infirmary, which would replace the existing one on Robie Street. The $29.5-million project would be located at the site of the current parking lot for the Museum of Natural History.

Coun. Waye Mason said what he knows about the proposed parking garage does not respect the look of the Common.

"My challenge to Premier [Stephen] McNeil is prove me wrong," he said. "Make the plans public and let's find out what's really going on."

He also outlined his concerns in a letter to McNeil.

This rendering shows the parking garage that will go to the south of the Museum of Natural History on Summer Street in Halifax. (Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department)

Mason said 800 parking spots would need four or five storeys, and putting it next to the museum and sidewalk seems unnecessary.

"They have 20 times the space on the hospital site [where Queen Elizabeth High School was located]," he said. "It's not clear why they feel they need to do it this way."

Mason points out the city has designated the corner of Quinpool Road and Robie Street for up to 90 metres (or 27 storeys), so several levels of parking could be part of a taller hospital building.

Why Mason is speaking out

Mason said he was speaking out now because he believes a tender for the project may be issued by Friday.

When asked if McNeil would respond to Mason's comments, a spokesperson for the premier said the matter has been referred to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

Meanwhile, the QEII hospital redevelopment project will be discussed at a meeting of the province's public accounts committee on Wednesday.

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