Nova Scotia

Millbrook First Nation nearly step closer to developing Shannon Park land

Millbrook First Nation is almost a step closer to developing a section of Shannon Park, but will first need an endorsement from the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Band needs endorsement from HRM before development can begin

Millbrook First Nation owns about four hectares of land at Shannon Park in Dartmouth, which is being redeveloped by Canada Lands. (Carolyn Ray/CBC)

Millbrook First Nation is nearly a step closer to developing a section of Shannon Park, but will first need an endorsement from the Halifax Regional Municipality.

"We've been working on this for quite, quite some time now," said Millbrook Chief Bob Gloade. 

"We've acquired the part of Shannon Park a number of years ago and we've been working toward an expansion of our community."

The band owns about four hectares of land at Shannon Park in Dartmouth, which is being redeveloped by Canada Lands — the real estate arm of the federal government.

Chief Bob Gloade said Millbrook First Nation has been working with Canada Lands and Indigenous Services Canada on the redevelopment of the land for at least 10 years. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

The land, which is also known as Turtle Grove or Turtle Cove, was acquired by Indigenous Services Canada and declared reserve land after an outstanding Mi'kmaw claim dating back before the Halifax Explosion.

Gloade said Millbrook has been working with Canada Lands and Indigenous Services Canada on the redevelopment of this land for at least 10 years.

On Nov. 24, Gloade sent a letter to the Halifax Regional Municipality stating that it was nearly finished establishing a reserve on the Shannon Park land, according to a city council document.

The office of Mayor Mike Savage then received an email from Indigenous Services Canada stating it would require "an indication of support" for the reserve.

It also required a commitment to enter into a municipal services agreement with Millbrook before the land could be developed.

By Dec. 18, the municipality's chief administrative officer, Jacques Dubé, sent a letter to Chief Gloade confirming support for the creation of the reserve and his intention to create a municipal services agreement.

However, this first needs to be be endorsed by city council.

If the development of the land is endorsed, Gloade said this allows Millbrook to have a larger footprint in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

If endorsed by Halifax Regional Council, Millbrook would develop residential and commericial buildings on the waterfront of Shannon Park. (Halifax Regional Council)

Millbrook has also already worked with the Halifax Port Authority to establish a long-term lease for the infilled water lot.

"We're looking at doing a mix of residential and commercial development along the waterfront for economic development purposes for our community," Gloade said.

He said if all goes well, the area could see between five and 10 years of construction developments on the waterfront, which will eventually draw more people to the area.

"There's a significant amount of the land that we're looking at developing and projects that we're going to be undertaking," he said. 

"So it will take between five to 10 years by the time everything is done and completed."

Halifax Regional Council is expected to vote on the endorsement on Tuesday.

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