For Donnelly Law’s client the Ecology Action Centre (“EAC”), the regional plan’s commitment to a Greenbelt and Public Open Spaces Priorities Plan is considered a major achievement for Halifax. “I feel much more hopeful about the future of this city as we emerge from this process. […] it is great to see planning and a regional plan be taken seriously inside and outside of City Hall” said Mark Butler of the EAC.
Greenbelting – legislation that protects large tracts of land from development– was featured by environmental lawyer David Donnelly and Ivey Foundation President Bruce Lourie in their keynote address at the 13th Annual Carmichael Lecture in Halifax, on March 6th, 2011. Since then, the two have been an integral part of HRM’s RP+5 by providing on-going expertise and advice to the EAC, HRM Alliance, and the Region.
“It was a long time in the works, but we’re very pleased it has passed. We think the plan is significantly strengthened from seven and a half years ago” said Raymond Plourde of the EAC.
While there is still a long way to go in terms of development, the settlement between the Region, City, and stakeholders is a significant step forward. As Mayor Mike Savage put it, “I don’t think you should ever let perfect be the enemy of better. And this is much better”.