Playing the Indian Card

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Remembering Africville

Africville is back in the news: former residents and descendants have a lawsuit pending before the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia demanding compensation for its destruction back in the 1960s.

Or rather, to be accurate, more compensation.

Some of us are old enough to remember when Africville was pulled down. At the time, it was considered a triumph of civil rights, a mighty blow against segregation, which back then was considered a bad thing.

Africville, after all, was a ghetto. And it was a slum. It was an unhealthy place to live. Even though few of them had legal title to their homes, the residents were given compensation, help moving, and new publicly-funded housing elsewhere. The old eyesore was turned into a public park.

And now, the rest of us apparently owe the descendants of Africville residents big time for it. And not for the first time. Aside from the original compensation, the Halifax municipal government shelled out an additional 4.5 million in 2010. Not bad pay, considering Africville had a peak population of only 400, in 1917.

No good deed ever goes unpunished.

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