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

Arena Strategy Expensive Mistake for HRM and District 7

On Tuesday, Regional Council will be asked to consider the Long Term Arena Strategy report which proposes to close all rinks in Bedford, Dartmouth and Halifax and replace them with two new four pad facilities. The report says it will save HRM $2 million a year to operate the two new complexes. I think the question should be – should HRM spend $90-100 million to build new facilities instead of repairing the existing ones for $18.8 million?  When you look closely at read more

Campaign finance reform is essential for HRM

It is important that how elections are funded, and what that funding can be spent on, be clearly defined and carefully monitored. That’s why the province has strong campaign finance laws, as does the federal government. Unfortunately, municipal election rules are weak – they increase the possibility for corruption and lead to unfair elections. As candidates, both of us believe it’s time to strengthen our campaign finance rules. Elections in the HRM are governed by the provincial Municipal Elections Act. The read more

Public Safety and Crime in HRM

Halifax is building a troublesome reputation as a community that is struggling with crime and its aftermath. It comes to no surprise that we  find ourselves debating the steps that we should take to reduce crime while addressing the root causes. In the days that followed the release of ambiguous stats that provided an unclear picture of what we are facing in terms of crime, conversations in our community were strong and diverse. Headlines that spoke of high murder rates read more

HRM needs an affordable housing plan, not empty words.

Halifax is starting to experience the kind of economic growth that drives up housing costs, creating challenges for many who struggle to provide safe and secure homes for themselves and their families. Recently Councillor Uteck proposed rent control as a solution. I think HRM can do better. Rent control is just one tool out of many that could be used to create affordable housing and foster housing security.  Rent control is also a provincial issue, not municipal. I find it interesting that read more