Judge stops sale of St. Pat's-Alexandra to developer

Lawyer Ron Pink, representing north end community groups, to get a court hearing February 16

Judge Patrick Duncan issued the above order late yesterday afternoon, ordering a temporary stay of the sale of St. Pat's-Alexandra School to Jono Developments. The matter will be taken up February 16, when the judge has scheduled a five-and-a-half-hour hearing.

The order came after Halifax lawyer Ron Pink filed a Motion for Judicial Review of the sale from the city to Jono Developments. Pink is representing the North End Community Health Clinic, the Mic Mac Native Friendship Centre and the Richard Preston Centre for Excellence Society.

In his submission, Pink argues that:

1. Halifax Regional Municipality failed to follow its Policy and Procedures for the Disposal of Surplus Schools in the following manner:
a. by not deeming the St. Patrick's Alexandra School surplus;
b. by not making a request for proposals from community groups;
c. by not taking the proper steps to obtain the approval of Halifax Regional Council to put the property on the market;
d. by approving the sale to Jono Developments Ltd.; and
e any other elements as may appear.
2. Halifax Regional Municipality failed to provide procedural fairness to the applicants by ignoring its Policy and Procedures for the Disposal of Surplus Schools approved and publishes September 5, 2000;
3. Halifax Regional Municipality breached the legitimate expectations of the applicants by ignoring its Policy and Procedures for the Disposal of Surplus Schools approved and published September 5, 2000.
4. Halifax Regional Municipality acted in a manner that was unfair, arbitrary, and was in bad faith;
5. Halifax Regional Municipality made wrongful assumptions about the applicants and acted upon stereotypes about the applicants and their communities;
6. Halifax Regional Municipality was biased in its decision-making;
7. Such other grounds as may appear in the record.
Pink's allegations have not been proven in court, but they were evidently enough to convince the judge to set a hearing.

Besides the Motion, Pink included three court cases he argues backs his position. Each of the cases deals with emergency injunctions staying sales of property, and in each the appeals courts ruled that it is proper for the court to do as much, so long as there is some question as to the validity of the sale.

It should be interesting following the arguments and counterarguments as this works up to the February 16 hearing.

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