A sensible approach to neighbourhood planning

One of the biggest concerns residents have is how new homes and renovations are often out of character with the current look and feel of the neighbourhood.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  Our bylaws have been improved and can be made better still, to protect our residential neighbourhoods. We have a great example of planning through a participatory design process, known as HRM by Design.  Right now, that process is being used to  introduce pedestrian-scale design principals in read more

Taxes and fairness in HRM

Taxes are a huge issue in Halifax this election.  Assessments are rising at a rate that far surpasses increase in income, driving sometimes huge tax increases for residents and businesses. Taxes must fairly reflect the cost of services delivered in each tax area, our business tax rates must be competitive, and tax rates must drop as property assessments increase reflecting the rise in income. First of all, we need to more directly connect the cost of service delivery to the read more

It is time for a transportation vision for Halifax

Halifax is growing quickly and residents are looking for a transit system that works for them. Last month HRM released the results of a poll that showed 61% of respondents want improved transit and 41% are interested in exploring commuter rail as a priority. Transit needs to be considered in an urban transportation context. In the city, we have commuters taking cars, walking, biking, and taking transit to get to work. At rush hour, a full bus has 50 people read more

Towards open government: open information, data, and dialogue

HRM residents deserve a government that is transparent, open, accountable and respectful of citizens’ right to kn ow. The last few years have been painful for residents . Council has bounced from crisis to crisis, often behind a cloak of secrecy and in camera meetings. But what do we mean when we say “open government”? Open Government typically encompasses three concepts: Open Information, Open Data, and Open Dialogue.Open Information means having all the information needed to understand and scrutinize government. read more

Finding the balance – development, district 7, and HRM

Halifax’s economy is beginning to accelerate rapidly as the effects of the ships contract and the offshore gas exploration start to be felt. It is time to have an honest conversation about development. HRM manages development, where and how and what things are built, through plans and directives. The hope is that this will make sure we get development that helps make the city the kind of exciting and livable place we want it to be. A lot of people read more

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