McNeil throws his support behind Africville centre - Metro US

McNeil throws his support behind Africville centre

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil voiced his support for the Africville Interpretive Centre at Seaview Park in Halifax Sunday.

The centre would showcase the vibrant and controversial history of Africville, but would also tie-in to other important aspects of local history, such as the Halifax Explosion and the world wars.

He said his party would commit $2.2 million over four years to the project.

Irvine Carvery, president of the Africville Genealogy Society, said the Liberals are the latest party to say they would commit to the project. He said the NDP originally supported it, followed by the Progressive Conservatives.

Carvery said he was excited to see all three parties support the centre.

“It’s going to create jobs for people,” he said. “It’s going to tell the history of the community; it’ll safeguard the culture and the heritage of Africville.”

Along with the centre, the Seaview African Baptist Church will be rebuilt in its original location with the same design.

The community of Africville was demolished in the late 1960s so the construction of the A. Murray MacKay Bridge to take place, but before that it was a community entirely populated by African heritage families, and some people in Halifax still consider it home, Carvery said.

Carvery said he is “a-political” and would not endorse any party leader, but was encouraged to see that all parties consider it a matter of importance for the centre and church to be built.

McNeil said “it’s just a matter of the other governments coming to the table and being part of this.” However, Carvery wishes the centre and church had been built “yesterday.”

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