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Council hikes costs for burial, cremation plots

The price of dying is going up in HRM.

The price of dying is going up in HRM.

Halifax regional council voted last night to increase the cost of a single-burial plot in municipality-owned cemeteries from $1,100 to $1,400.

The cost of a cremation lot, which holds up to four cremated bodies, increased from $500 to $1,050.

But one councillor said the municipality should raise the costs even more.

Preston-Lawrencetown-Chezzetcook Coun. David Hendsbee said the cost of burials on municipal land should be increased to meet market value.

He did not agree with a staff explanation that the prices reflect the standards of other municipalities across Canada.

“I don’t care about the operations of other municipalities, I care about the operations of this municipality,” said Hendsbee. “Why are we shortchanging ourselves? ... If you ask me, we should be on par (with market value).”

Halifax North End Coun. Jerry Blumenthal said while he doesn’t think taxpayers should shoulder the burden of the dead, he doesn’t want the municipality to get into the business of burials.

“I don’t think citizens should be paying for other people’s burial,” said Blumenthal. “But I don’t want to see a profit-making on burying people.”

In other city hall news yesterday, council also voted to approve a community access plan for the new four-pad arena in Bedford.

The access plan is intended to end an ice-time imbalance between men’s and women’s hockey, as well as less widespread sports such as ringette, sledge hockey and figure skating.

The plan encountered much resistance from councillors — questions concerning the effects on other arenas, as well as equitable distribution among HRM’s different regions, stretched the debate on for close to five hours.

In the end, however, council voted to accept the plan with the slight amendment that certain groups must give up ice time at one arena to book time at the four-pad.

 
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