Well, that was fun.
I wrote the blog post last evening about the parts of Halifax razed to accommodate Scotia Square and the Cogswell interchange. Tim Bousquet read my humble post and quoted a good chunk of it in his Halifax Examiner post this morning. Go ahead and read it, and then scroll down to the comments section. Some people sort of agree with me, while others strongly disagree with me.
I thought about putting in my rebuttal there, in the comments section. But this is my blog. I can write what I want. And I can write it here. Tim is free to quote this in the morning if he wants.
I stand by my comments that Halifax has a near pathological disdain for the poor, and has for a very long time. The fact that they booted all those citizens off of Jacob and Starr and Hurd and the other streets speaks to that. If the city had booted them off, moved them to temporary housing, and then built low-income housing in the vacated area, before moving them back to that newly-built low-income housing, then I wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Didn't happen. They built Scotia Square instead. I don't see many poor people there. Do you?
Some of the commenters think that I am totally out to lunch about condominiums in Halifax. There are million dollar condo's. If it is true that the average price of condo's is a mere $350 000, then I have a news update. Most people can't afford that, either. Another person pointed out that there are new builds at the bargain basement cost of $200 000. Yeah, I know. There are some of those opening up this year at a place called Monaghan Square, on Young Street. The cheapest of them are at that price point. But the commenter left out something. Those condo's have no bedrooms. They're glorified bachelor apartments, for that kind of cash layout. You can still buy a semi detached house in the 'burbs for quite a bit less than that. That house would have two, maybe even three, levels of living, along with a small front and back yard. Which would you rather have? And, once again, lots of people can't afford $200 000. Not that these commenters give a rodent's rump about those who can't.
A commenter wrote that much of the housing in that area was "atrocious and unfit for habitation." That is what the city fathers said to justify the demolition of Africville a few years later. Their track record sucks, and I don't believe it. And like I wrote last evening, are you telling me that every single house in that neighbourhood was blighted and worthy of demolition? All of them? Really?
What about the businesses in the area? What about the police headquarters? Blighted, too? Tear 'em down. Who cares about the displaced? They're poor, anyway. Let's put up this cool shopping mall and office tower, instead. Urban renewal, don't you know?
The people who got kicked out of Africville all those years ago finally got a half-hearted apology from the mayor, about 5 years ago. Why are the people who were booted off their properties before that, not offered the same level of respect? Riddle me that.
See you tomorrow. I'll try to be in a better mood.
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