After $1.1M refit, Province House's south garden sports new look
Plan is to open south garden door to the public starting June 3
It's not the open government Stephen McNeil promised before he became premier, but the so-called people's house is going to be a little more welcoming to Nova Scotians, starting June 3.
Speaker Kevin Murphy has agreed to unlock the garden gate on Prince Street at Province House. It will allow the public direct access to the south garden, which last year underwent a $1.1-million overhaul.
The last time the garden gate was opened was the summer of 2014.
It will also mark the first time in at least five years, since the shooting on Parliament Hill sparked a security crackdown at legislatures across Canada, that the grounds to the Nova Scotia legislature will have public access, other than through the main vehicle gate on Hollis Street.
There is a pedestrian gate on Hollis Street, but it is locked, and a garden gate on George Street is welded in place.
A new camera placed in the south garden will allow security to keep a close eye on visitors who drop by to use one of the new benches, or to admire the new plants and shrubs.
There are also newly installed ramps to make the grounds accessible, but anyone who uses a wheelchair or cannot climb up or down steps will need to use the vehicle entrance rather than the garden gate.
The government has shelved plans to restore the north garden, currently a paved lot used by MLAs to park their vehicles. The lot surrounds a statue dedicated to the Boer War, which was installed in 1901.