Participatory Budgeting, Willow Tree Tower vote, discrimination and bullying in the workforce at HRM, more.

Lucy & Griffen vote, folks having a look at projects, and Galiba & Unaiza pondering at PB 2018.
Lucy & Griffen vote, folks having a look at projects, and Galiba & Unaiza pondering at PB 2018.

 

Hello all,

A fair bit of news and not as many events as we head into summer.  In this enewsletter I am going to touch briefly on Participatory Budgeting, the Willow Tree Tower, and discrimination and bullying in the HRM workforce, and bus stop improvements!

Despite a disappointing outcome last night (more on that in a minute) it was great seeing so many of you and hearing so many passionate and well thought out arguments!  One residents stopped me and asked “what is recapitalization?”  I published the list of roads being “recapped” a few newsletters ago.  I blinked and looked at her and said “It’s paving. Paving. I’ve worked here to long. I should have just said paving.”  We laughed.  I will be extra diligent in translating government speak into plain English in the future!

Last night council approved a motion I was pleased to move that will require quarterly reports on status and progress in addressing the horrific issues of bullying and racism that have been reported in HRMs workforce.

When the news broke of the Human Rights Commission decision it made me sick to my stomach. Every other thing that the Council has done, all the things I personally proud of mean nothing in the face of this poison, it taints everything. No HRM staff, no one, should be faced with this behavior, and employees who bully and harass and will not change their behavior must leave HRMs employment.

The intent of my motion is to bring this work to address this problem into the public.  My belief is that by having public, quarterly reports will achieve several goals – we will not allow this poison in our workplace to disappear from view, we will be constantly reminded about how far we have to go to achieve our goals, and we will be able to hold management, through our CAO, to account for progress, or lack of progress.
You can read more about this here – https://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/archives/2018/06/20/racism-sexism-and-bullying-will-now-be-publicly-reported-to-halifax-council

Participatory budgeting voting took place last Wednesday evening in the Halifax Central Library, with 405 residents of all ages coming out to decide which community projects would receive funding for 2018/19. As always it was amazing!
Full funding was provided to:

  • Le Marchant St Thomas PTA – $20,000.00 for playground improvements
  • Partners for Care / Common Roots Urban Farm – $4,600 for signage, shade and garden upgrades
  • Inglis Street Elementary School PTA – $10,000.00 for playground improvements
  • Halifax Brewery Market – $18,000 for play equipment and furniture
  • Halifax Cycling Coalition $16,450 – for eco counters and adaptive bicycles
  • Halifax Central Junior High – $20,000 for new basketball backboards and armatures

Partial funding was provided to Halifax Minor Baseball for $5000 towards a batting cage at Conrose Park. The Inglis Street funding will be matched from other available funding already set aside for improvements in Gorsebrook Park for a total commitment of $20,000.  More here.

I’m going to invite the community to a meeting in September to review the program and look to see how we can change PB to make it even better, and maybe make space so smaller projects can access it without feeling like the schools always get all the money! Watch for details on that meeting.

Finally, last night Council approved the Armco Willow Tree tower. I voted against the proposal, which passed 10-6.  My concerns were more about the mass of the building than the height.  Height doesn’t concern me if the podium is well designed and the mass or volume or size of the building is appropriate.  This tower has the same overall mass as a downtown building, like the Maritime Centre.  It’s almost double the Floor Area Ratio (the measure of mass being proposed in the Centre Plan) of Point North on Robie and Demone.

If the Centre Plan is the result of our best research and evidence on building mass, height, design, and appropriateness, I feel that Council should have forced the building to meet that more closely.

As I said to some residents during the break, this doesn’t mean Centre Plan has already failed – what matters is passing a plan and then defending that plan.  That will be a huge test for Council, and I am still hopeful that we can get there, though I am often accused of being too optimistic about these things!

Bus Stop Improvements:
As part of Halifax Transit’s annual bus stop improvement plan, the following improvements are planned at bus stops in District 7:

Concrete/Asphalt

District Location Improvement Type new, discontinued or existing stop?
7 Coburg Rd Before Lilac St (6451) REPLACEMENT existing stop, on or between sidewalk and curb
7 Summer St After Bell Rd (8363) REPLACEMENT existing stop, on or between sidewalk and curb

Shelters

District Location Improvement Type
7 Robie St After Veterans Memorial Ln (8179) Replacement (complete)
7 Robie St After Pepperell St (8183) Replacement (complete)
7 Coburg Rd Before Lilac St (6451) Replacement
7 Summer St After Bell Rd (8363) Replacement

 

Public Meetings and Notices

Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee
Monday June 25th 4:30-6:30pm | Halifax City Hall, Halifax Hall
The next meeting of the Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee will take place on Monday June 25that 4:30pm at Halifax City Hall. To view the agenda for the upcoming meeting, visit:  http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/cagenda.php

Transportation Standing Committee
Thursday June 28th 1-3pm| Halifax City Hall, Council Chambers
The next meeting of the Transportation Standing Committee will take place on Thursday June 28th at 1:00pm at Halifax City Hall. To view the agenda for the upcoming meeting, visit: http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/cagenda.php

Halifax Regional Council 
Tuesday July 17th 10am | Halifax City Hall, Council Chambers
The next meeting of Halifax Regional Council will take place on Tuesday July 17that 10am at Halifax City Hall. Agenda and reports are posted by noon on Friday prior to the meeting date and are available at http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/cagenda.php

Community Events

National Indigenous Peoples Day
Thursday June 21st 10-11am |Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
On National Indigenous Peoples Day, there will be a special ceremony in the Ondaatje Courtyard to honour and bless the installation of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council flag on the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. You will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of land acknowledgement and the significance and history of the National flag.

Make Music Day
Thursday June 21st 12pm-10pm |Halifax and Dartmouth
Make Music Day is an international celebration of live music held on June 21st, the Summer Solstice. Organized by Alliance Française Halifax, enjoy several free live concerts taking place in Halifax and Dartmouth. For a list of locations, performers and more information, visit: http://www.afhalifax.ca/makemusicday/

Park to Park Community Association Annual General Meeting
Monday June 25 7-8pm | Wellington South Lobby Meeting Room 1041 Wellington Street
Residents of the southern half of the district are invited to attend the AGM of this community association, support the hard work of their volunteer board in lobbying for good planning and good development, and pepper me with questions.  I’ll be at this meeting before heading to the Dal community meeting.  More info on Park to Park here: http://www.parktoparkhfx.ca/

Dal Community Meeting
Monday June 25 7-9pm | LeMarchant Place, 1246 LeMarchant Street, Dalhousie University
“This year, we’re taking a different approach to our annual president’s meeting with the community, which we’re hoping will make it easier to hear from you. Neighbours are invited to drop by for one-on-one discussions with Dalhousie President Richard Florizone and members of the leadership team, as well as with representatives from Dalhousie’s Student Affairs, Facilities Management, Security and Community Engagement teams. Representatives from the Halifax Regional Municipality and Halifax Regional Police will also be available to answer your questions. Light refreshments will be served.” (Note, I will be there at around 8:15 after Park to Park)

Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo
June 26th – July 2nd | Scotiabank Centre
It’s that time of year again! The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo will take place from June 26th-July 2nd at the Scotiabank Centre. The show is a maritime tradition and is your chance to see an incredible performance of pipers, drummers, dancers, acrobats, cyclists, singers, choirs, military bands and more. You don’t want to miss it! Tickets on sale now. For more information, visit: https://discoverhalifaxns.com/events/event-details/?event=2191

Halifax Dartmouth Canada Day 2018
Sunday July 1st 8am-12am | Halifax and Dartmouth
Head out on Canada Day to partake in a number of FREE events taking place in Halifax and Dartmouth.  Come and get pancakes with me in Grand Parade, get a piece of cake from me at the Citadel, and then eat maple cookies with me in Public Gardens!  Enjoy the Halifax and Alderney Pancake Breakfasts and check out the Citadel Hill Opening Ceremony. Head over to Alderney Landing for the fireworks and Canada Day Concert featuring Allan Rayman, Mo Kenney, Skratch Bastid, Alfie and T. Thomason. For a complete list of events and more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1046469548825079/

Canada Day at the Museum
Sunday July 1st 10am-4pm | Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Enjoy a day filled with live multicultural music and performances, activities and crafts, treats and more at Pier 21 on Canada Day from 10am-4pm. There will be performances by: All Nations Drum, Chinese Culture and Arts Club, Maritime Centre for African Dance and more! Admission to the museum and activities are FREE. For more information and a complete list of performers and activities, visit: https://downtownhalifax.ca/event/canada-day-museum

Help and more info

Call my office
Call our office for assistance with your municipal issues. Contact my Constituency Coordinator Melody Campbell by phone 902-490-2012 or email melody.campbell@halifax.ca or contact me directly. The best way to reach me is via email at my city email – waye.mason@halifax.ca or you can call my direct line at 902-490-8462.

311 – HRM’s Call Centre
HRM’s call centre is open 7 days/week from 7 am to 11 pm to respond to routine inquiries and complaints from HRM residents. Please use this service since it helps HRM keep track of issues that are of concern for residents (missed solid waste pickup, sidewalks not cleared, transit info or complaints, etc.) For more information please visit http://www.halifax.ca/311/

Regional Council Reports and Agendas
If you want to read reports coming to Regional Council (posted mid-day Friday prior to the Tuesday meeting) or to check the agenda please go to:  https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council

Halifax and West Community Council Reports and Agendas
Community Council meets on Tuesday evenings that alternate with Regional Council. Please check the webpage here for agendas (usually available a week before the meeting), locations and times. https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/community-councils/halifax-west-community-council