Participatory Budgeting Results, Fire Safety Info, Summer Festival Dates, More

News and updates

Happy summer!  The weather has turned and we are finally getting to enjoy Halifax at our best.  Mowers are mowing fields, painters are restoring sidewalks and street lines, and of course, pavers gonna pave.  For a list of roads and sidewalks in the district getting work this summer please see this newsletter from April.

A record number of residents, five hundred and thirty seven voters, turned out last week to decide which community projects would receive funding in the districts 5th annual participatory budget vote. Residents, many of them children, came to the Halifax Central Library and voted to support five of the nine citizen-led initiatives through funding from District 7 discretionary capital fund.

We opened the doors an hour earlier than last year and people were still lined up when the doors opened. It was very exciting to see so many people of all ages and from around the district come and have their say. This year 537 residents voted, up dramatically from 360 in 2017, 335 in 2015, 260 in 2014 and 120 in 2013.

Full funding was provided to the Le Marchant St Thomas PTA – $20,000.00 for playground improvements; Partners for Care / Common Roots Urban Farm – $6100  for tables, sitting area and water stations; Inglis Street Elementary School PTA – $20,000.00 for playground improvements and a swing set; Climb NS – $17,500 for an outdoor gym; Halifax Cycling Coalition $14,250 – for eco counters and bike repair station.  Partial funding was provided to Downtown Halifax Business Commission with $16,150 for parkland upgrades.

Once again I heard many residents say how hard it is to choose just five projects.  All the projects were excellent but in the end residents made their decisions.  Proposals will now be vetted by HRM staff and pending policy and due diligence by staff organizations should receive their funding in six to eight weeks.

Fire safety and apartment towers
I’ve had a fair number of emails from people wondering if the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower disaster could happen here.  I put this question to Deputy Fire Chief Ron Hollett, who answered:

“The buildings within Halifax Regional Municipality – which would be “high rise” (10+ stories) – to our knowledge, do not have unapproved cladding (as in the UK fire).  The exterior finishes are brick (or stone) and metal and the buildings are built to the Canadian National Building Code / National Fire Code and both are very strict regarding using fire resistant exterior finishes.  Any high-rise building constructed after 1995 would require a sprinkler system (and in some cases – a standpipe system as well).  Buildings built prior to 1995 – that may not have a sprinkler system, would have been built with concrete and designed to contain a fire within the apartment (compartmental design) – keeping the fire inside the apartment.  And doors that require self-closures (this ensures the fire would remain inside the apartment) – the doors have 2 hour fire separations (meaning the door has to last for two hours under fire conditions).

For the other questions regarding “deregulation” – not the case here.  Both HRFE and the Building Planning Department are very involved in all building design / approvals.  If any builder would like to deviate from the building code – they require approval from the Planning Department and Fire Prevention Division and when these are asked, we look first towards all safety components and if we are not satisfied, the deviation is not approved.”

Milk – a free screening at City Hall
I’m particularly proud that my office is presenting a free screening of the movie Milk in Halifax Hall during Pride.  This could not have been possibly without the support of Councillors Smith, Austin and Cleary, municipal Clerk Kevin Arjoon and my coordinator Melody Campbell.  Details below.

Public Hearings and Meetings

UPDATE – due to lack of a quorum, the June 27, 2017 meeting of Halifax and West Community Council has been cancelled. The public hearings scheduled for this meeting will be rescheduled.Public Hearing on Case 20854 Young Avenue LUB to protect the character and form of Young Avenue

June 27, 2017 6pm | Council Chambers, Halifax City Hall
A public hearing will be held regarding this case.  Community Council meets on Tuesday evenings that alternate with Regional Council. Details of the case can be found here:

Meeting regarding Case 20719 5516 Bilby Street – Add property to Schedule Q and amend development agreement
June 26, 2017, 4pm | Halifax Hall, Halifax City Hall
District 7&8 Planning Advisory Council Reports and Agendas
A meeting will be held to discuss this case.  The District 7&8 Planning Advisory Committee meets once a month to discuss and provide feedback to council on planning proposals for the two districts. More information on the proposed development can be found here:

Community Events

Bike in the Park Pilot Program
A new pilot program will now make it possible for cyclists to enjoy point pleasant park on weekends and holidays from Saturday June 17, 2017 to Sunday, October 29, 2017! During weekends and holidays ONLY, cyclists will be permitted to use the designated multi-use trails within the park. An extension of the pilot program will depend on the participation rate by cyclists and how well it is received by park users. For more information, please visit

Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo
June 29-July 6, 2017 | Scotiabank Centre
The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is the worlds largest annual indoor show and features bagpipes, highland dancers, and military traditions as well as modern acts including acrobatics, contemporary dancing, and trampoline routines. There is truly something for everyone at this family-friendly event. For more information and tickets, please visit

Canada Day Celebrations
July 1, 2017 | Various locations around HRM
2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of Canada and as part of a massive, countrywide Canada Day Celebration, HRM is hosting free events and interactive celebrations all day on July 1. Around Halifax and Dartmouth, there will be several pancake breakfasts and public concerts at Sullivan’s Pond and the Halifax Public Gardens. The Emera Oval will be hosting over 175 artists from around the world, and there will be free outdoor concerts all day on the Halifax Common, including the much-anticipated performance by local favourite Matt Mays and world-renowned EDM performer Deadmau5. And of course, the evening will finish off with a spectacular fireworks show. For a full schedule of all the events, please visit

Halifax Lebanese Festival
July 6-9, 2017 | Olympic Community Centre
The ever-popular Halifax Lebanese Festival is back for another year. Residents are invited to come out and enjoy traditional Lebanese music, dance, food, and artisans. Admission is free. For more information, please visit

Victoria Barks – Dogs in the Park
Saturday July 8, 2017 10am-2pm | Victoria Park, Halifax
The Spring Garden Area Business Association invites you to stop by their 3rdannual Victoria Barks – Dogs in the Park event and receive a FREE doggy bag with sample treats and more! There will also be a Pet Tricks Contests and parade, adoptable rescue dogs, advice from onsite vets, trainers, and much more. For more details, please visit

Halifax TD Jazz Festival
July 12-16, 2017 | Various locations around HRM
The TD Halifax Jazz Festival is back for another year, with artists from around the world bringing the sounds of jazz to the city streets. This year promises to be bigger and better than ever! With 14 stages across Halifax, there is sure to be something for everyone. Featured performers include Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals, Blue Rodeo, and Ron Sexsmith. For more information and full schedule of events, please visit

Halifax Pride Festival
July 20-30, 2017 | Various locations around HRM
2017 marks the 30th year of the Halifax Pride Festival. Everyone is invited to come out and experience the variety of colourful shows and events happening in Downtown Halifax! The Halifax Pride Festival is Canada’s fourth largest Pride Festival, and is a celebration highlighting the unique character of our diverse community. The Pride Parade will take place Saturday, July 22th from 1pm-3pm. For a full list of events, please visit or call 902-431-1194.

Halifax Pride Flag Raising
Thursday July 20, 2017 5pm | Halifax Grand Parade
Join Mayor Savage and members of the Halifax Pride Festival for the kick-off to 2017 Pride Week in Halifax! There will be a reception in Halifax Hall immediately following the flag raising.

Milk – a free screening at City Hall
Wed, July 26th at 7:00 pm (doors at 6:30)| Halifax Hall, Halifax City Hall
75 tickets available first come first serve.

Milk is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Dustin Lance Black, the film stars Sean Penn as Milk and Josh Brolin as Dan White, a city supervisor who assassinated Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The film was released to much acclaim and earned numerous accolades from film critics and guilds. Ultimately, it received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, winning two for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Penn and Best Original Screenplay for Black.

Presented with the support of Councillors Smith, Cleary & Austin, Municipal Clerk Kevin Arjoon, and Council Support staffer Melody Campbell.
More info here:

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 or contact me directly. The best way to reach me is via email at my city email – 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

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:

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.

District 7&8 Planning Advisory Council Reports and Agendas
The District 7&8 Planning Advisory Committee meets once a month to discuss and provide feedback to council on planning proposals for the two districts. Please check the webpage for agendas (usually available a week before the meeting), locations and times: