"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

'To Fight the Unbeatable Foe'

UPDATE: Advocacy wins the day. Now, for heaven's sake, please let these ladies live in peace.
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go 
These were the words that came to my mind today when I read that a ReMax real estate agent is appealing the Town of Bridgewater's decision to change its zoning bylaws to allow LaHave Manor Corp. to open a new group home.

You might recall last Spring when the LeHave Corporation attempted to purchase a property that was ideally-suited for use as a group home by three women that have lived together for over 18 years. It seemed like a great idea until neighbours started complaining and the Town decided that the property couldn't become a group home because it violated zoning bylaws -bylaws that allowed for "low density residential housing", also known as single family dwellings. Apparently, the Town viewed three people living together in the community as an "institution".

But just when we thought saner heads had prevailed and all was well (the Town changed its by-laws to allow the group home to be opened), we now come to find out that Ron Bullen, an agent with RE/MAX South Shore Realty, along with a merry group of fellow real estate agents, has filed an appeal of the Town`s decision with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

The reason? Apparently they are afraid that the group home will cause real estate values in the "upscale neighbourhood" to fall.

Seriously?
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
One of the better lines in the article has to belong to local resident Brian Tennyson, who stateed at a public meeting that he's not opposed to the zoning change because it's a "residential-care facility", but because "councillors and staff were manipulated, pressured and intimidated by LaHave Manor Corp".

Hey, you might just be on to something there, Mr. Tennyson. Town Council might just have been intimidated. And some things are, indeed, worthy of intimidation.

Such as the public statements recently made by the Minister of Community Services to the effect that persons with disabilities have the right to live in the community and if you disagree ... well, that's too bad.

Also worthy of intimidation? The fact that you might just be running afoul of the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
"Bridgewater prides itself on being an inclusive community and as such wants to incorporate the intent of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities," the release said. "We acknowledge that the rights of disabled persons are equal to the rights of any other person in our community."
This fight is not, cannot, be over.

Perhaps a few well-placed letters to ReMax letting them know what Nova Scotians think of the actions of their agent in this matter? Perhaps an online petition boycotting ReMax unless this matter is resolved?

And, if anyone knows the names of the other real estate agents involved, I would love to hear them.

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