Nova Scotia

No parkade at Grand Parade: Halifax staff

Halifax municipal politicians could lose their valuable parking spots in the city's centre square if a staff recommendation is accepted.

Halifax municipal politicians could lose their valuable parking spots in the city's centre squareifa staff recommendationis accepted.

The mayor and councillors are currently allowed to park in Grand Parade, right in front of City Hall. Buta report by municipal staff saysthe space couldbe better used and recommends relocating vehicles to a parking lot about a block away, starting April 1.

Coun. Andrew Younger, who represents East Dartmouth-The Lakes, said he would be willing to park somewhere else.

"I don't think we should be parking here, despite the fact my own car is behind me at the moment," he told CBC News on Monday.

The staff recommendation doesn't impress Eastern Shore-Musquodoboit Valley Coun. Steve Streatch, wholikes the convenience of pulling up to his parking spot after an hour-long drive in.

"When I took this job back in 1999, parking was part of the job,it came with the territory. And, quite frankly, this is a working city hall. This is not a museum, it is not a shrine," Streatch said.

He doesn't share the vision of some people who wantto turnthe historic Grand Parade into a people-friendly gathering spot with fountains, more trees and eating areas in the summer.

"To say quite simplythat we're going to turn this into a giant skating rink or a concert venue or something like that is maybe pie-in-the-sky, maybe a little idealistic," Streatch said.

The report calls for parking to be moved totheformer Birk'ssite, between Barrington and Granville streets. That lot would be transferred to the province in exchange for the Infirmary site.

Municipal staff say eliminating parking in front of Grand Parade would mean a loss of $48,300 every year in parking passes, butthe municipalitywould make more money when it starts to collect parking revenue at the Infirmary.

The report will be presented to council on Tuesday.