I wish to thank you for your interest in the commitments Regional
Council and I have made, on behalf of the people of HRM, to the former
residents of Africville and their descendants.
I’m pleased to tell you that, by the end of this year, we will have
honoured most of the commitments we made when we offered our
unconditional apology to the community, last February.
Here, briefly, is what has been accomplished since then:
● A cheque for $2.5 million of our $3 million commitment towards
the cost of building a new Seaview United Baptist Church has already
been turned over to the recently formed Africville Heritage Trust
Society. (Note: Actual construction and operation of the new church is
the responsibility of the Trust Society);
● The balance of the financial commitment ($500,000) will cover
the cost of installing water and septic services for the Seaview Park
property on which the church and eventual interpretive centre will be
● The property (2.5 acres) which HRM has promised is surveyed and
ready to be deeded to the Africville Heritage Trust Board;
● We are awaiting suggestions from the Africville Genealogy
Society on our commitment to rename Seaview Park;
● With regard our commitment to establish an Office of HRM-African
Affairs, discussions are being held with the province to ensure this new
responsibility does not merely duplicate the work of the provincial
Office of African-Nova Scotian Affairs. We anticipate this new HRM
portfolio will be established early next year.
Be assured that Council and I are most serious about the commitments we
have made to the survivors of Africville and those who have gone before.
We are moving steadily ahead to honour those pledges with the full
assistance of the Africville community itself. We respect the
sensitivity of these matters and we are making sure we work to the pace
and timetable set by those who have been most affected.
Believe me, we wish to see Africville rise again and take its rightful
place in our midst, every bit as much as you obviously do.
Your interest and support is very much.
Respectfully, I remain