Sgt. Lynden Morrison (from elft); MLA Brian Wong and Councillor Cathy Deagle Gammon (Out of picture on the screen via zoom was MP Darrell Samson). (Healey photo)

WAVERLEY: Four main topics of concerns came to the forefront during a community meeting between residents in the Waverley/Lakeview/Fall River/Wellington and surrounding communities area and their local representatives on March 14.

The main concerns were development (specifically the one going on Fall River Road); lack of transit; speeding; and high traffic volumes in Fall River.

MP Darrell Samson, at the meeting via Zoom from New York where he is representing Canada at meetings; MLA and Advanced Education Minister Brian Wong; and Councillor Cathy Deagle Gammon listened to concerns from approximately 35-40 people in attendance at the Waverley Legion. The RCMP were also there to address concerns around speeding/policing in the community.

Cathie O’Toole, HRM’s new CAO, was the meeting’s emcee. About 50 chairs had been setup.

There were also questions submitted for the three representatives and RCMP officials in advance that they would be asked about.


Alan Joyce was the first person to get up and ask a question to the municipal; provincial; and federal representatives. His question centered on transit and where it stands on coming into Fall River.

Deagle Gammon responded to his query explaining where things sit at the moment.

“The Transit Service Boundary won’t be up for another look for another year,’ she said. “We had hoped it would be this year, but until it opens up we don’t have any option around it.

“A lot of people want it to come down from Perrin Drive into Hwy 2 and by the Fall River Sobeys, up to Windsor Junction and connecting to the Sackville terminal then back up through Waverley. That’s what people have been asking for.”

Councillor Cathy Deagle Gammon.

A group of IT Data students from NSCC are helping build the case with data from employers at the Fall River Shopping Centre. It’s the first step in what they hope, Deagle Gammon said, of a bigger picture of the transit needs in the community. They hope to expand  the survey to the wider community.

“They’re doing some homework so we can bring some real data to transit to show them there is a desire for transit,” she said.

Even if a pilot is possible to be in operational, that would be a help too, she said.


The Fall River Road Development (Carr Farm) was up next with a question that was submitted in advance. There were several questions on the development itself, O’Toole said, so they asked one. Other questions that were submitted would be responded to as well, she said.

O’Toole read the question asking that many residents in the Fall River area have concerns with the development at the top of Fall River Road, which abuts Fall River Village. The question asks for disclosure on exactly what the plans are and speaks about the quality of water with any leeching into the lake from the facility.

Emcee Cathie O’Toole.

Deagle Gammon, who supported the appeal from a citizen committee around the site plan because of the scale and concern around sewage treatment and how it would be facilitated, said there were many meetings arranged between NS Environment and Climate Change and locals who had concerns, including Cheema and residents on Lake Thomas who took their drinking water from the lake.

“The huge concern and thought from some residents is that HRM bypassed their own Phosphorus bylaw, championed by our previous councillor (Barry Dalrymple),” she said. ‘We went to them and asked if we had done that. What was said was the province trumps HRM’s bylaw and the province approved it so that’s where we are at.

“Am I concerned as your councillor about what’s going to happen? Absolutely. I don’t know what else to say.”
She said she has kept the conversation between all progressing.

“I think as your councillor I have moved the needle and the conversation, and brought as many people to the table as I can,” said Deagle Gammon. “Going forward it’s about making sure everybody is held accountable and that the system does do what it says that it will do.”


MLA Brian Wong responds to a question.

MLA Wong followed Deagle Gammon in responding to the question on the Fall River Road development. He said the community does need seniors housing; its something they get the most calls on every week over any other issue.

“I’m concerned with water myself, but after the two provincial environment experts and their presentation, in addition to everything else I had already learned, I’m quite comfortable with that plant,” said Wong.

He mentioned a second sewage treatment plant off MacPherson Court that goes into Fletcher Lake and no one seems to question that on.

“When this one’s been approved and this is supposed to be state of the art, I’m not saying it’s better or anything else. I don’t know enough to compare the systems, but it’s the second system that’s really running into the lake,” he said. “So I was comfortable with the expert’s opinion because I’m not an expert, but I trust what they said and sometimes we have to put our faith in the experts we hired, and therefore the development.”


O’Toole, in her former role as general manager at Halifax Water, explained that they operate 14 treatment plans, four of which discharge into ocean environments, but the rest discharged into freshwater lakes.

“There are Canadian drinking water guidelines for any potable water treatment plans drawing from the lakes,” said O’Toole.

MLA Brian Wong speaks about his concern for water quality.

Wong said the quality of the water is a concern for him.

“The last thing I want to do is destroy a lake,” he said. “I was listening to the experts. I was convinced that, yes, I think this project, can go forward, and benefit our community.”


A resident asked to speak and further asked about the second treatment plant that Wong mentioned, which has been there for 26 years and goes into Lake Fletcher.

She asked about regulations for treated effluent into freshwater lakes, so if that is the case then this could be setting a precedent of treated effluent into freshwater lake used for drinking water.

Coun. Cathy Deagle Gammon listens as MLA Brian Wong answers a question.

Wong said he was convinced by what was presented that they are well within regulations and the system passes provincial and national standards.

The speaker wanted people to be mindful of what we’re putting in this lake.

“Long term issues, certainly, but short-term is the potable water that we have residents in our community drinking from,’ she said. “I do support development and for seniors homes I certainly do, but I think we have to be more mindful of what precedent we’re establishing here in Fall River.”


O’Toole moved to the topic of speeding an “obnoxious driving” as the question that was submitted read. It was in regards to Rocky Lake Drive and Hwy 2 in Waverley to Fall River, and why there seemed to be no enforcement there.

Sgt. Lynden Morrison with Halifax District RCMP (Lower Sackville) said they are aware of the speeding that is going on.

“We get constant complaints about this,” he said. “Enforcement is one-part that we can do. There are other means to calm traffic through road signage, traffic calming but we need people to keep reporting it.

“We do make patrols here. I spoke with someone who said they have seen police in the community. We also have numerous unmarked vehicles so while you may not see us, we are out there. We are trying to get them, but there’s never enough (of us).”

Sgt. Lynden Morrison with the RCMP.

He recommends people to keep calling them in with as much details as possible, such as the license plate if you can. The number to call is 902-490-5020.

“We do keep pushing these areas to our officers,” he said. “With capacity we can only be at certain places at certain times. Keep calling it in, and if it’s a pattern and problem let us know. We can set up a targeted enforcement.”

Deagle Gammon said one thing they’re looking at is the traffic safety act and awaiting it to pass, which could include a “game changer” for enforcement such as photo radar.


Dave Caswell asked a question to Deagle Gammon about $1 million that was in last year’s budget for traffic calming for downtown Halifax area.

“Is there any look at reallocating some of that money out this way for traffic calming like the RCMP officer is talking about?” said Caswell.

He also asked about darkened license plates and not seeing anyone with that to get stopped. Sgt. Morrison said drivers with that have indeed been stopped.

Coun. Cathy Deagle Gammon.

Deagle Gammon said there has been a significant investment in District 1 for traffic calming.

“It’s the speed hump, or speed bump, and now speed transitions,’ she said. “Traffic services is who determines what happens and where.”

There weren’t any questions directed to Samson himself. He did say there were a couple of funding announcements coming in the next couple of months for projects in Waverley and Fall River area.

The informative meeting continued with a few more questions asked, and an end of meeting wrap up.