Sidewalk Snow Removal Changes, Participatory Budgeting Program Update, New Affordable Access Program, Bike Week and more

District 7 Newsletter – May-June 2019

Hi all, wanted to get a newsletter out to start the week.  Before we get to public meetings and community events, I want to update you on sidewalk snow removal changes, participatory budgeting program changes, the new Affordable Access program launch, and travelling to FCM Quebec.

A little over a month ago I promised to bring a motion to deal with substandard snow clearing of sidewalks by contractors, especially in the northern half of the peninsula, including the area of District 7 between Cogswell and Cornwallis.   I am pleased to share that staff made a number of changes to the snow removal program that means a motion is not longer required.  Specifically:

  • HRM is expanding the staff boundary to provide service to the areas in the north end that are problematic (Bauer, Falkland etc)
  • Exploring the high volume sidewalk areas in the upcoming report and can change the priority of service on these sidewalks even after a contract is issued (this would allow P3s to be classified as P2s and P2s as P1s in areas where data shows most folks walk or take transit to school and work)
  • All contractors can only use equipment that can plow and salt at the same time to clear sidewalks (Mandatory)
  • Contractor can not have a break in service until service standards are met
  • All contractors have to have a minimum of at least one (1) ice breaking attachment
  • Equipment can not be used if it is wider than the surface that it is servicing
  • Identified some areas that are “labour work only” to clear (more snow blowers and hand shovelling)

This is what I was going to push for in a motion so I feel satisfied with these changes.  I will keep working with regional centre Councillors to have high volume pedestrian sidewalks have their priority increase.

We had a great meeting with a small but mighty crowd to discuss possible changes to the Participatory Budgeting program.  The goal is to encourage more small projects to be able to get funding, while making sure schools and others can still get funding for needed playground and park improvements.  I also wanted to see if there was an appetite to set aside some money for smaller projects that do not have a not for profit to advocate for the investment for me to use at my discretion.

The consensus was to change the program so that:

  • Big projects would be able to apply for $15,000, and voters would have to vote for three large projects on their ballot.
  • A small project category would be created for projects needing $5,000 or less, and voters would ALSO have to vote for three small projects.
  • $75,000 will be distributed via the PB vote, leaving $19,000 for small projects and unexpected projects that pop up mid-year.

Please email me and let me know what you think!  We are looking at having the PB vote in October 2019 this year.

I am very proud that the municipality has launched our Affordable Access Program.

The Affordable Access Program allows qualified residents to apply for municipal subsidized programs. This new intake process (Starting Tuesday, May 21. 2019) will allow residents to apply once and have that application considered for multiple programs:

  • Low Income Transit Pass – Allows participants to purchase a monthly adult transit pass for 50% of the regular price for one year. 2,000 spaces available on a first come, first served basis.
  • Recreation Access Program – Provides either partial (50%) or full (100%) payment for Recreation programs for children, youth, and adults in financial need for a full calendar year.
  • Property Tax Exemption and Deferral Program – Helps homeowners pay their property tax through a payment plan, a deferral of property tax (payment is delayed to a later date), or a deferral of local improvement charges.

To apply, the application must be filled out in full and include any additional documents that the program has requested. The application form can be sent via email:, in person at a customer service centre or HRM-owned and operated recreation facility, or via mail. If residents need help completing their application, they can visit our website:, call 311, or visit any public library, recreation centre, or customer service centre.

Finally I wanted to let residents know I will be away from May 29 – June 3 representing Halifax and the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual meeting and conference in Quebec City.  If you want to see what I am up to at the conference all my meetings are posted on my online calendar   If you need assistance while I am gone please contact Melody, her contact info is at the bottom of this email.

Public Meetings and Notices

Halifax & West Community Council
Wednesday June 5 6:00-8:00pm, Tuesday June 11 6:00-8:00pm | Halifax City Hall, Council Chambers
The next meetings of the Halifax and West Community Council will take place on Wednesday June 5 and again Tuesday June 11 from 6:00-8:00pm. To view the agenda for the upcoming meeting, visit:

Halifax Regional Council
Tuesday June 4 10am | Halifax City Hall, Council Chambers
The next meeting of Halifax Regional Council will take place on Tuesday June 4 at 10am. To view the agenda for the upcoming meeting, visit:

Community Events

Obey Convention XII
May 30-June 2 2019 | Various Venues

OBEY Convention presents contemporary music and sound. We approach curation with an open-minded, genre-fluid curiosity, responding to both local communities and international dialogues in underground and experimental sonics. We host a concert and education series throughout the fall and winter and an annual four-day festival each spring. OBEY endeavours to create genuine spaces of listening, subversion and celebration that resist the pitfalls of the music industry. Join us in celebrating the fringes of culture and the power of new ideas!

Kitchen Party & Ceili Dance – a fundraiser for Spencer House
Friday, May  31st 7:30-9:30p.m | St. Andrew’s United Coburg Road at Robie & Coburg

Spencer House is throwing a Kitchen Party & Ceili Dance at St. Andrew’s United on Coburg Road, Halifax.  An evening of down-home Maritime food, music, dancing, fun, and  laughter… while helping support the extraordinary work of Spencer  House and our older adults of the HRM.  Hosted by the Maritime’s favourite Irish musician and comedian, Tony  Quinn, featuring award-winning Celtic folk fiddler and vocalist, Shannon  Quinn, and accomplished Irish duo Jimmy Sweeney & Kevin Roach.  Tickets are $25 ($30 at the door) available by contacting 902-421-6131  or Allison, at Check it out on Facebook  See you at the Cèilidh!

HRM Bike Week
June 1-9, 2019 | Various Locations

Bike Week is a yearly initiative that is about bringing the people, organizations, businesses, and institutions of Halifax together in celebration of not only of cycling but of the potential it has for creating healthier, safer, more prosperous communities in Halifax. Every year, organizations across Halifax host events in their communities in celebration of Bike Week. For the full Bike Week schedule visit

All bike week events are amazing but these two are special for me, the Bike Auction (critical for parents of growing children!) and the Mayor’s Bike Ride.

Halifax Bike Auction
June 1 8-9:30am | Halifax Forum, Multipurpose Centre 2901 Windsor Street

The annual Halifax Bike Auction kicks off Bike Week! This is a great opportunity to find a bicycle at a lower cost. Viewing of the bicycles starts at 8:00 and the auction will begin at 9:30. Get there early to find the right bicycle for you. All items sold on an as is condition and all sales are final. Cash only.  More info

Mayor’s Bike Ride
June 6 3pm | Acadia Park 650 Sackville Drive

Join Mayor Savage and myself and many others on Thursday, June 6 for the Mayor’s Ride 2019 — a signature annual event as part of HRM Bike Week (June 1–9, 2019). This year’s route follows the Little Sackville River Greenway. The ride departs from Acadia Park (650 Sackville Drive) at 3:00pm. Please bring your own bicycle and helmet. Details can be found at

10th Annual Walk for Arthritis
Sunday June 2, registration start 8:30am | Halifax Oval, 5775 Cogswell Street

On Sunday, June 2nd in Halifax, the Arthritis Society will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Walk for Arthritis! The Walk for Arthritis will be taking place in more than 30 communities across Canada and over the last 10 years has raised over $11 million!  Funds raised in Nova Scotia stay in the province and support the 1 in 4 people living with this disease here at home. More info at

Final Public Open House – 1557 Hollis Street (Ralston Building
Thursday, June 6th, 2019, 6:30-8:30pm | Lindsay Children’s Room, Halifax Central Library

Join Canada Lands Company, Architecture49, and WSP Canada Inc. see the plan for the future of the site and discuss some design ideas.

Quinpool Road Clean Sweep
Wednesday June 6, 8:30-10:30am | Meeting location TBD

The Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association will host its Annual Clean Sweep event. They are looking for volunteers from the association’s businesses and organization to come together and make the  streetscape of Quinpool Road sparkle. Volunteers will meet at 8:30 am before heading out to tidy their designated sections of Quinpool Road. The cleaning will take place from 9:15 am to 10:30 am. As a volunteer you will be in a team of  4 to 6 people, and will hit the streets sweeping the sidewalks, removing garbage and taking down posters to show your community spirit and civic pride! For more details visit

Unplug to Connect Street Hockey Game
Friday, June 7  noon | Grand Parade

On Friday, June 7th at 12:00 noon in Grand Parade, the Mayor will be hosting a “street hockey” game between the Boys and Girls Club kids vs. the Mayor and HRM as part of Unplug to Connect. I may be there reprising my role as water boy, and we can all have fun watching the Mayor and his staff and councillors playing and having some fun in support of the Boys and Girls Club.

Halifax Greek Fest
June 6-9, 2019 | 38 Purcell’s Cove Road

An annual favorite returns with a taste of Greece in the heart of Halifax. For more info including parking and transportation strategies visit

The Hydrostone Haul Neighbourhood Sale and Gathering
Saturday June 8, 8:30-1pm (rain date June 9) | The Hydrostones

This second annual neighbourhood yard sale encourages residents in the Hydrostone and neighbouring streets and communities to come out and celebrate summer together.

GoodWill Bot: Shakespeare By The Sea
Monday, June 10 5-8pm | Good Robot Brewing Company 2736 Robie Street

One Good Will deserves another! Come raise a glass (or a few) and help support local, live, professional theatre in Halifax! All day long at Good Robot $1 from every pint sold will go Shakespeare By The Sea. Join members of the 2019 company to talk Beer and the Bard from 5pm-8pm. Come earlier, stay later and let’s celebrate the start of summer!

How can we help?

Call my office
Call our office for assistance with your municipal issues. Just wanted to let you that for the time being you should contact my acting Council Coordinator Laura Nooyen her number is 902-490-7177 and her email is though she is off next week, so from March 18-22 Ken Benoit will be available at 902-490-7184 or

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.

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