Update #22 – snow removal, new South End School site, public spaces meeting, more!


This edition: click here for news, or here to read about upcoming public hearings orcommunity events.


Happy February!  I hope you are staying warm and taking your vitamins.  I’ve had the flu that has been going around and been off work for most of the last week.  It was pretty miserable.  I should be caught up on phone calls and emails by the end of today.  Sorry for the delays, and try not to catch this flu!

Snow removal
On Monday, 2 February, HRM received 30 cms of snow followed by rain and freezing temperatures, and on Thursday, 5 February, a further 25 cms of snow and cold temperatures.  Halifax normally gets around 42 cms in the entire month of February.  A further 15-20 cms is expected this Friday.

There are a lot of rumours out there.  The city has not run out of money for snow removal, there has been no reduction in the snow removal budget, and no reduction in equipment or staff.  Simply put – the snow is icy and hard and it froze shortly after the first snowfall.  Accordingly, it takes a lot of time to shift the piles or widen a road, and especially to plow sidewalks because the lighter smaller sidewalk equipment struggles to break the ice.

On sidewalk snow removal – I’ve lived on Vernon Street for 21 years.  On a snowy night I would set my alarm to get up 30-60 minutes early because I knew I had to get up and shovel.  If I didn’t get most of the snow up by say 7:30 to 8am, the thousands of people walking to Dal and the hospitals would pound it down to a thick pack of very hard snow or ice.  The problem we are experiencing is because there are not, nor will there ever be, enough bobcats to clear the snow between dawn and start of business if it has snowed all night.  Some parts of the City have to be first, and some last.  As I have stated previously, I don’t think residential sidewalk snow removal by the City will ever work well.

All this said – please keep calling and emailing to report dangerously narrow streets, slippery hills and intersections, and missed roads and sidewalks.  I collect that information every day and email it to the night manager around dinnertime, and that crew tries to move some resources around to deal with the most dangerous situations.

New South End Elementary School site
There has been concern amongst neighbourhood residents that the Minister of Education may be waiting on Halifax’s input, concerning the street closure process, before making a decision on the location of the new school.  This week HRM staff confirmed to me that there is no legal obstacle to considering a partial closure of Watt between LeMarchant and Walnut Streets.  I passed this on to the Minister’s office on Wednesday.

That said, any street closure that lifts the street lines and ends a right of way must go through a public process defined by provincial law and city regulation and is very unusual.  This process would start after the school site process had advanced to the point that there were specific requests to consider, which would be some time after a site is selected and well into the design and build process.  The neighbours who are affected have a right to have their concerns heard and considered.

Like most people in the area, I look forward to hearing that the new school site has been chosen.  It has been a long road for us since Beaufort closed and the new school was first promised!

Public Space, History and Memory
The Gorsebrook Institute at St Mary’s is hosting a public meeting to talk about the relationships between public space, history and memory.  I am pleased to be working with Gorsebrook to help host a discussion about naming and recognition, especially in light of the controversy around Cornwallis Park. These recent debates in Halifax and elsewhere have brought this issue into sharp focus.

This symposium seeks to continue the conversation.  Panelists will make short presentations to be followed by a facilitated question and answer period.

Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday, March 12, 2015 – 2:30 p.m.
Scotiabank Theatre, Sobey Building
Saint Mary’s University

The Start-up 100
This is not a municipal politics issue, but I think this St Mary’s initiative has great potential.  The Start-up 100 is a project that will help students take their business ideas to reality.  The program focuses on developing entrepreneurial ability in Nova Scotia’s youth.  With help from the Sobey School Business Development Centre, 100 student businesses will be started in 100 days across 50 communities.  If an individual does not have a business idea, project managers at the BDC will also help guide them to form one.  Individuals will be provided assistance to create a business plan to help them with marketing, pricing, promoting their product or service, and a lot of other essential aspects of developing a business.  A couple of perks include individuals being able to access up to $5000 in interest fee funding with a 10% guaranteed return if repaid within the time term, mentor matching, and networking.

This is an amazing project, and I look forward to the results!  For more info visit:http://www.smu.ca/startup100


Public Meetings & Hearings

Case 19293 – Fewnick Tower
Tuesday February 17, 2015 at 6:00 pm at Halifax City Hall (Council Chambers)
An application has been made by Templeton Place Ltd. to amend the existing development agreement for 5599 Fenwick Street, Halifax (Fenwick Tower Property), to allow for changes to various building elements.  Proposed changes include: reduction in the height and size of Fenwick Tower; changes to the shape and roofline of Fenwick Tower; changes to the Fenwick Street Townhouse Style Building; changes to the South Tower; relocation of the Mews/Pedestrian Passage; reduction of overall residential and commercial density; reconfiguration of 2-bedroom units throughout the development; and reduction of on-site parking.


2nd Annual Mind Matters and Heart Hurts: Mental Health and Addictions Issues for Black Youth
February 10, 2015 6-8pm | Cornwallis Street Baptist Church
A free community forum focusing on mental health and addictions of black youth in our community.  The forum will feature a panel discussion with several well-known community advocates.  For more information, please contact Lana MacLean at 902-223-4906 or email lmmaclean1@bellaliant.net.

Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada
February 11-14, 2015
Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada is coming to Halifax February 11-14 and will feature a number of great free events for the entire family:

  • Skate with the Stanley Cup

February 12, 2015 7-9am | Halifax Forum
Participants will be able to skate with the Cup at the Halifax forum and enjoy free coffee and hot chocolate.

  • See the Stanley Cup at the Halifax Central Library

February 13, 2015 3-4:30pm | Halifax Central Library
Another great opportunity to bring your family to catch a glimpse and get your picture taken with the Stanley Cup.

  • Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada live Broadcast with Ron MacLean

February 14, 2015 11am-4pm | Emera Oval
This event will feature live NHL games all day, ice and snow sculptors, Stanley Cup viewings, complimentary snacks and free scarves and toques! To see the entire schedule of events for Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada, visitwww.halifax.ca/hockeyday.

Rogers Hometown Hockey
February 15, 2015 11am-6pm | Cole Harbour Place
Come out and see a live viewing of the Penguins vs. Blackhawks (1:30pm-4:30pm). There will also be live music, a meet and greet with NHL alumni and CHL Players, face painting, pick up hockey, video games and great hockey prizes and giveaways. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visitwww.halifax.ca/hockeyday.

ARK- Coldest Night of the Year Walk 2015
February 21st, 2015 4pm| 6036 Coburg  Road
An event to raise money for ARK – a drop in site for homeless and street-involved youth aged 16-24. At ARK, youth can receive a warm meal and get access to laundry facilities, showers, and other basic necessities.  The Walk will be from 4pm-8pm and will include a light meal, and rest stops along the 2.5 and 5km marks providing warm drinks and snacks.  For more information, please visithttps://coldestnightoftheyear.org/location/halifax

Friends of McNabs Island 25th Anniversary Dinner and Auction
February 21, 2015 5:30pm | Murphy’s Cable Wharf Restaurant
Come and celebrate 25 years of commitment to preserving McNabs Island: “The jewel of the harbour”. The evening will feature a full service meal, live music, auction and door prizes. For more information, please contact Faye at 902-443-1749.

District 7 & 8 Planning Advisory Committee
February 23, 2014 4-6pm | Halifax Central Library, Room 301

Musical Performance by Cyndi Cain: An evening at Government House
February 10, 2015 7pm | Government House
Their Honours Brigadier-General The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret’d), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and Mrs. Joan Grant invite the public to Government House to celebrate civic and cultural excellence in our province. This event is free of charge and everyone is welcome.

Spencer House Seniors Centre, 5596 Morris Street, 902-421-6131
Spencer House Seniors Centre goal is to provide services and programs which enable older adults to live independently, contribute to their community and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.  The Centre is open Monday to Friday and offers a hot meal and various programs for seniors.
Up next at Spencer House:
Wed., Feb. 04 @10:30 – 12:00.  Singing Group.  An informal sing-along for anyone who loves to sing!
Wed., Feb. 04 @12:00 – 13:00.  Pork & veggie hash with coleslaw; fruit cocktail with whipped topping
Wed., Feb. 04 @13:00 – 14:00.  Valentine Craft Project – Come along & join the fun as we get ready for Valentine’s Day!
Thurs., Feb. 05 @12:00 – 13:00.  Salmon loaf, scalloped potatoes & veggies; chocolate pudding with whipped topping
Thurs., Feb. 05 @13:00.  Bingo, $2.00 per Double Card.  Jackpot Game!