I have been working closely with MLA Lisa Lachance. We share our communities’ frustration with the behavior we saw this weekend in the streets of our neighbourhood and we recognize the impacts this has had on residents who experienced it. We want to make sure this community remains a diverse mix of students, renters, long-term homeowners, young and old, and university students, and we love the energy and excitement students bring to this neighbourhood.
Lisa and I will continue to talk to Dal every day this week. We want updates on discipline underway, data on consequences, and reiterate the idea that they need to reconsider their dry campus policy; the dry campus seems to have pushed all partying out of the residences into our neighbourhoods and also moves students away from services they may need.
I met with President Saini on September 2 to tell him how unhappy I was that Dal had unilaterally withdrawn from funding Dal Patrol without dialog with HRP and HRM partners. As you may remember Dalhousie announced a number of initiatives after the first Jennings Street party in 2017 and supporting an expanded Dal Patrol was a key part of that. As a result of that discussion, a high-level meeting of HRM, Dal, and HRP will be held to establish an agreement and protocol for communicating and changing the arrangement.
The majority of students are legal adults and we can’t legislate away their bad choices. We need to ensure that all residents – students and otherwise- know what the clear and consistent consequences are, well in advance of weekends like this, and the results of those consequences (both municipally and at the universities) need to be public.
We have already asked Dal to give us data, not names, but “this many people were suspended, this many people were expelled” needs to be a part of this dialog. Universities tend to want police to give data but cite privacy rules about saying anything at all about their own process, but without some idea of outcomes it is hard to trust anything is happening at all.
Our objectives for the next steps (by jurisdiction):
- Find a solution to manage the ongoing issues with late-night food in a residential zone at Preston and Jubilee
- Finish the rental registration and inspection bylaw and bring it to council (it was due in April but COVID delayed) more info here –
- Provide updated signs on the schoolyards
Halifax Regional Police
- Discuss where warning ends and enforcement begins, both in terms of street parties, and noise complaints
- Understand what will change going forward and how that will be communicated to the neighbourhood and students
- Public reporting and accountability for tickets and arrests during back-to-school period, and comparisons to past years, so trends can be recognized.
- Reconsider the dry campus policy
- Restore funding to a Dal Patrol like program under a new, clear agreement
- Public reporting and accountability for the general consequences from internal discipline process and comparisons to past years so trends can be recognized.
Dalhousie is also asking everyone who was at the events Jennings and Larch Streets to not attend class until the morning of Monday, October 4, and to limit your public space interactions in general. They are also asking students to get tested for COVID-19 at one of the campus testing sites or test-kit pickup locations. Even if a test is negative, Dal asks students to continue to not attend classes or on-campus activities for the full week and continue regular testing. Finally, Dalhousie stated, “This weekend’s illegal gathering poses a potential risk to our ability to continue with a safe, sustainable in-person learning experience this fall.”
Police are asking anyone with information about this incident to call police at 902-490-5020. Anonymous tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers by calling toll-free 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submitting a secure web-tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or by using the P3 Tips app.
We will be updating residents regularly through our social media and newsletters.