Update #35 – St Pats High Open House, Budget Presentations, more

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NEWS

Happy Holidays!  Things are still very busy at City Hall, combining the budget process underway, holiday events ramping up, and all the other projects that are starting to come in for a landing, like the Sportsplex renovation and the new Dartmouth four-pad, or the third new ferry.

This last week there were two things that ate up a lot of my time – the street closures around the Nova Centre and the Heritage Act.

Long street closures are hard for the businesses that are affected.  There has been a lot of concern about the lengthy street closures and the detrimental impact these closures are having on the small businesses that operate next to any construction site.

I’ve been working since December 2013 with Mayor Savage to identify the specific issues and get a new policy framework in place to help mitigate the damage.  Unfortunately this work is not done, reports have been delayed, and then last week news came that Market Street might be closed from the end of November to December 18.

After a lot of last minute work the Developer of the Nova Centre managed to get Prince and Sackville Streets open by Monday, and Market is now going to be open by Friday.  This is great news, but we still need some kind of policy to manage construction and to look to compensation for businesses facing months of street closures.  I have a motion going into Council today on this matter, my third on the issue.

The other issue was the Heritage Property Act amendments.  It is exciting to see the Province moving quickly to address concerns and updates to the Act, but of course good laws require reflection, discussion, and amendment based on input from all stakeholders.

I went down to Law Amendments yesterday and delivered this short brief to the committee, as did the HRM solicitor and the Heritage Trust.  Law amendments sent Bill 118 back to the Department for a revision, and that is a good thing.  I have a lot of confidence in Minister Ince and think we will get a better Act. I felt pretty good about my small contribution to the Province, and felt like the Municipality and the Province did good work on this file yesterday.

I look forward to seeing you out and about this holiday season.   I will be away from the office December 23 to January 1; I will be checking email and voicemail from time to time.  I will, of course, be at the New Year’s Levy at City Hall, please come on down January 1.  If I don’t see you, let me wish you and yours very happy holidays and a great new year!

PUBLIC MEETINGS, HEARINGS & PLANNING

6067 Quinpool Rd (St Pats High) Open House 2
Wednesday December 9th – 6-8:30pm | Atlantica Hotel Guild Hall

The Municipality is preparing for the sale of the former Saint Patrick’s High School site, located at 6067 Quinpool Road. The property requires its zone to be changed through an amendment to the area’s plan policy. This will permit a mixed-use development with a focus on urban design and built form. The process to amend the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land-Use By-Law for the site includes a second public Open House:

Downtown Halifax Plan & new Downtown Dartmouth Plan Design Manual
December 14th  deadline, online

A revised Draft Downtown Halifax Design Manual and a new Draft Downtown Dartmouth Design Manual are now available for public comment.  Comments can be forwarded through the SYC Forum or to planhrm@halifax.ca until December 14, 2015.
Dartmouth Design Manual http://shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/downtown-dartmouth-plan
Halifax Design Manual http://shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/downtownplanreview

Budget Committee of the Whole
December 2nd  December 9th, 9:30am | Halifax City Hall
Council will debate the capital budget on December 2nd  and the Transit budget on December 9th.  The public is welcome, and there is the opportunity for public participation of up to five minutes to comment on the topic of the day.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

I’m a Muslim, Am I a Terrorist?
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 –  7-9pm | Marion McCain Building, Dalhousie University
A timely panel discussion about challenging Islamophobia on campus and in our society, with guest speaker Dr. Jamal Badawi. This event is free to attend and all are encouraged to join in the discussion.

Women with Disabilities Networking Social
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 – 4:30pm-6pm | World Trade and Convention Centre
Please join the Women with Disabilities Network in their first networking social to connect with women of all ages and abilities at the Education and Employment Symposium. This event is free to attend and light refreshments will be served. For more information, visit Independent Living Nova Scotia’s Facebook profilehttps://www.facebook.com/Independent-Living-Nova-Scotia-146896108683919

Shopping Under the Stars
Friday, December 4, 2015 –  5-10pm| Spring Garden Road area
Come out and support local business and stroll the streets, browse the shops, and explore for hidden gems. There will be lots of special pricing, free treats and demos, contests, music and holiday carolers. For more information, visithttp://www.destinationhalifax.com/content/shopping-under-stars
Halifax Crafter’s Society ‘Squirrely Season’ Winter Show
December 4-6, 2015 | Olympic Community Hall
Join the Halifax Crafter’s Society for their annual Winter Show! There will be all kinds of great locally made gifts and artisan crafts for sale and admission is free. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/539953692818689/

Community Yoga Flow
Sunday,  December 6, 2015  – 2-3pm | Halifax Central Library
Come out to the Paul O’Regan Hall for an all-levels free yoga class. You will be guided through an energizing vinyasa practice that promotes body awareness, and helps build strength and flexibility.
Halifax Explosion Annual Commemorative Service
December 6, 2015 | Fort Needham Memorial Park 
The annual commemorative service for the Halifax Explosion will take place on Sunday, December 6 at 8:45 am at Ft Needham Memorial Park (at the Bell Tower).  Following the service there will be a reception at United Memorial Church on Young Street.

Menorah Lighting
Monday December 7, 2015 | Grand Parade

Come and participate in the annual Menorah lighting and then retire to Halifax City Hall for a reception.  All are invited!

HRM Volunteer Awards Application Deadline – December 11th
Each year the Halifax Regional Municipality, the Mayor and Regional Council recognize the extraordinary contributions of individuals and groups who volunteer their time and skills to provide services and programs in our communities.  There are 3 categories for awards:  Youth, Adult and Group.  For information on the program and the application form please go to http://www.halifax.ca/volunteerservices/awards/index.php

Last Minute Christmas Craft Show
December 12-13, 2015 | Halifax Forum
Admission is free to the Last Minute Christmas Craft Show taking place at the Halifax Forum Saturday, December 12th  from 11 am-6 pm and Sunday December 13th from 10 am-5 pm.  A great opportunity to pick up some last minute local gifts!

Carols in the Cathedral
Monday, December 14, 2015 – 7:30-9:30pm | All Saints Cathedral, 1330 Martello street
Enjoy baked treats and hot apple cider while listening to classic Christmas carols by candlelight in the cathedral. Visit www.cathedralchurchofallsaints.com for more information.

Community Grants 100th Anniversary Halifax Explosion Program Deadline – December 18th
The call for applications to the 2015 Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Grants Program is now open and the application form and guidebook are available online by visiting  this site. The deadline for applications is December 18th, 2015. Interested non-profit groups can call 311 or Grants staff for information, materials, or advice by calling902.490.7310 or 902.490.5469

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