Participatory Budget vote cancelled, affordable housing program and Centre Plan, more

Hello all, couple of quick notes and some great community events to share.

The District 7 Participatory Budgeting Vote Night scheduled for November 4th has been cancelled. We tried moving the vote night to the Fall to see if we could get more people involved, and it has not worked out! We did not get enough projects submitted to allow for a vote, so we have decided to consider funding all the projects that were submitted. This means that while there are still details to work out the applicants will get funding, should receive the funding you asked for this year.

While it looks like a fall vote won’t work, I am planning to hold another Participatory Budgeting session in the old time of Spring of 2020. I anticipate that there will be more interest at that time, and we can get back to voting!

Get your projects ready – we are looking onward and upward to Spring 2020. I will share the list of successful applicants in the next e-newsletter.

I’ve gotten a number of emails about two big changes that I am really proud of, but some information seems to be shared around that is incorrect.

First is regarding why the majority of Council voted to take cash instead of affordable units in the Willow Tree Development.

In Nova Scotia housing is provincial, and so HRM needs to rely on the province to provide the legislation or regulation to ensure the units in a development are affordable and for how long they are affordable. What we were offered was units in the tower for 15 years. At the end of 15 years they would gone back to market value. The building will be 28 stories for 50-100 years so that seemed wrong to me.

I would rather do what we did and take $1.8 million from this project and put it in a housing fund and use it to fund not for profits to build housing nearby. This money has to be spent on affordable housing measures. This is how we are going to handle affordable housing from the Centre Plan.

This leads to the second thing the I keep hearing that is incorrect, that developers can buy their way around the height limits in the Centre Plan.

What is actually happening is developers have to pay to build a building bigger than 2000 square meters, and that building still have to meet all the requirements for size, set backs, step backs, and all the other rules in the Centre Plan. People cannot buy PAST the maximum, if the maximum in the plan for that property is more than 2000 square meters, the developer needs to hand over cash.

It is a development fee levied on every large building up to the maximum size.

HRM has not drafted the Administrative Order for the Density Bonusing as yet, the thinking was the funding would be geared towards social housing needs, in terms of affordability. Staff have to bring the report back 6 months after adoption of the Centre Plan.

I hope this helps explain where we are going on support for affordable housing and the Centre Plan. It’s not going top solve all the challenges we face right now, but it is a start, and having some money can help steer or incentives getting some funding from the other levels of government. I will keep you you informed when the policy comes out.

Finally – I will be out of the country November 12-19 attending the Association of Cities of Vietnam annual meeting in Vung Tau, Vietnam. It is an honour to be representing the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and working with the Government of Canada supporting the Partnership for Municipal Innovation: Local Economic Development program.

During that time, as always, you can reach my Council Coordinator Laura Nooyen for assistance. Her number is 902-490-7177 and her email is

Thanks for reading this far, now on with the newsletter!

Public Meetings & Events

Commemorating our Shared Histories – Halifax
Tuesday October 29 6:00 | Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Gottingen Street
The Task Force on the Commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and the Recognition and Commemoration of Indigenous History is hosting phase two of public engagement to seek public input.   You’re invited to join a facilitated conversation circle to discuss how the Halifax Regional Municipality should recognize and commemorate Indigenous history. As part of this important discussion, participants will also be asked what we should take into consideration when commemorating history in general. This facility is accessible. Space is limited so we’re asking those wishing to attend to please RSVP. Tickets are fully free and if you are attending with a group, feel free to reserve their spaces as well. We look forward to seeing you attend this important discussion. Can’t make the session? Share your thoughts by emailing

Public Workshop – Peninsula South Complete Streets (Robie, University, Morris Streets)
Wednesday October 30 11:30-13:30pm | Dalhousie Student Union, 6136 University Avenue
This Peninsular South Complete Streets project will apply a “complete streets” approach to improving conditions for all people travelling to and through the south end of the Halifax peninsula, with a focus on improving comfort, safety and convenience for people walking, cycling and taking transit. The project will also establish a common design vocabulary, or “District Identity,” for University Avenue that reflects the unique character of the area and will shape any changes made to the street. We want to hear from you as we begin to develop the plan.

Barrington Street Complete Street Celebration
Thursday, October 31 7:30-9:30am | Barrington Street @ North Street on the new multi-use pathway
No tricks but maybe treats! Come celebrate better walking and cycling on Barrington Street with the extension of the Barrington Street Greenway! Stop by our table on the new section of the Barrington multi-use pathway the morning of October 31 to warm up with free hot beverages and treats, chat with municipal staff & members of the Halifax Cycling Coalition, and score some swag! To learn more about the Barrington Complete Street project, visit

Remembrance Day Commemorations
Monday November 11 10:00 | Sailor’s Memorial Point Pleasant Park, Grand Parade, Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, Camp Hill Veterans Hospital
A Day of Remembrance. Every year on November 11, Canadians pause in a silent moment of remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace.  Please join me at the Sailor’s Memorial, or attend any of the many ceremonies taking place throughout the District.  More information on Remembrance Day can be found here:

Community Events

Global Shapers Halifax Info Night
October 28 6:30pm, Cafe Lara Agricola Street
Global Shapers Halifax is now accepting applications for new members to join the hub! The Global Shapers Community is a network developed and led by young leaders dedicated to making contributions to their community to better the world. We are looking for change-makers located in the Halifax Regional Municipality who are looking for their next adventure, to be supported by a team to create projects to positively impact the city and are between 20-29 years old. Join us Monday night to get to know current members of the hub, learn about the projects we are currently working on, understand the broader Global Shapers Global Community, and how you could contribute as a Shaper.

CCPA-Nova Scotia Annual Fundraiser
Friday November 1, 6:00pm | Mount Saint Vincent University, 166 Bedford Hwy
Join us November 1st for CCPA-Nova Scotia’s Annual Fundraising Gala! The evening will include a talk by bestselling author Robyn Maynard. Maynard will attend to Canada’s stark history of the surveillance and punishment of Black lives in Canada, with attention to recent issues in Halifax and Nova Scotia. She will offer alternatives and highlight past, present and future freedom-making strategies toward ending racial and gendered injustice. Doors open at 6:00pm with a cash bar. Dinner served at 7:00pm.

Comedy Hosted by the Halifax Chapter of the Huntington Society of Canada
Friday November 1 8:00pm | Yuk Yuk’s Halifax · Halifax, Nova Scotia
Come out for a night of laughs in support of Huntington Disease. The Halifax Chapter of HSC is hosting its second annual fundraiser at YukYuk’s Comedy Club in Halifax. There will be a silent auction again this year, as well as a 50/50 draw.  Last years event was a great success and we are hoping to make it a great night again.  Invite your friends and family!

Creative NS Awards Gala 2019
Saturday November 2 7:30pm | Halifax Central Library, Paul O’regan Hall
The 2019 edition of the Creative Nova Scotia Awards is presented by Halifax’s live art company Heist. The theme of this year’s event is Make it Ours.  Award winners along with performing artists for the night will be announced throughout the coming weeks leading up to the big night!  Tickets available now. Please note: Admission is free. Presented by Arts Nova Scotia and the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, the Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala is an annual event that celebrates excellence in artistic achievement, notably in the announcements of two major awards, the Portia White Prize and the Lieutenant Governor’s Masterworks Award. Winners of the Prix Grand Pré, the Established Artist, Emerging Artist and Indigenous Artist awards and the Community Arts and Culture Recognition Award are also honoured. Collectively, the awards are worth $95,000.

CRAVE * A Food & Drink Experience
Saturday November 2 7:00 | Pier 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Party with a purpose! Join us for a special night of food & drink, featuring some of the region’s top restaurants and beverage brands. Funds raised will support our Club’s core charities King’s Meadows Residence Society, The Club Inclusion, Special Olympics Nova Scotia and IWK Foundation

LCW General Meeting
Monday November 4 5:30pm | Local Council of Women House, Corner of Inglis and Young Ave
All are welcome! Join us for another general meeting at the Local Council of Women House. We plan to have a speaker (TBD) and we’d love to provide you with an update of what we’ve been up to and of course hear from our membership. Hope to see you there!

Climate Strike at the Nova Scotia Legislature
Friday November 8, 3:00pm | Granville Street, Halifax
The world is on a deadline to stop climate change, and so far the Nova Scotian government (and the Canadian government at large) has failed to take concrete action to protect our future. Our country is heating at twice the global rate, our coastline is eroding, and Nova Scotia is one nor’easter away from being separated from the rest of our country forever. It is time for us to show the government how much we care about our planet and demand actual, influential action by all levels of government.  This is not a partisan issue, it’s a Canadian issue! So let’s gather at our provincial legislature, regardless of the government in office, and remind them through peaceful protest that Canadians care – and that we are watching them!  This event is happening in conjunction with a protest in Ottawa; you can find information about it here:

Sable Island Conference 2019 – Shifting Sands
Saturday November 9 08:30 · Halifax Convention Centre, Argyle Street
The conference is dedicated to Sable Island National Park Reserve (NPR) and the marine environment that surrounds and maintains the Island. This is the third in a series of conferences related to the appreciation and management of this surprising sandbar in the north Atlantic Ocean. The conference is open to all topics related to Sable Island NPR, Sable Island Bank, and Sable Gully. The main themes will be: natural history/science, cultural history, visitor experience, and park management. The conference closer event will be an exciting gala dinner and fund-raiser celebrating the spirit of Sable Island.

A Night to go Wild – for Sable Island
Saturday November 9 6:00pm | Halifax Convention Centre, Argyle Street
Friends of Sable Island invite you to celebrate the spirit of Sable Island at an exciting gala dinner and fundraiser. Experience this magical place through stunning photography, lush film-making, and inspiring music from the comfort of a seat in the Halifax Convention Centre. Funds raised will be used to further educational programs, ensuring that the next generation learns to care about Sable Island – its future and ours. Guests for the evening: Don Connolly – Master of Ceremonies. Nova Scotia’s loved CBC morning man for over 40 years, Roberto Dutesco – Keynote Speaker. International photographer and filmmaker who has been photographing Sable Island for 25 years,  Terry Kelly – Musician. Composer/singer who will be performing a song in tribute to the Wild Horses accompanied with other Nova Scotian performers, Mayor Mike Savage – Special Guest. Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality which includes Sable Island

Frag For Cancer 14 – Video Gaming Charity Tournament
Friday November 9 – Sunday November 11 | Dalhousie Student Union Building 6136 University Avenue
We’re BACK for our 14th year! Atlantic Canada’s Largest video gaming tournament is here and we’re hoping you would join us! Registration opened August 01 2019. Frag is a video gaming term that means ‘to defeat, or to get a Kill’. Frag For Cancer started with a gamer losing his dad to cancer, and vowed to do something unique that he’s passionate about to raise awareness, funds and philanthropy in the community. In his memory – We continue to run Frag 14

Halifax Taco Week 2019
November 14-20, 2019 | Various Venues
Hello, lover of food! There is a new food event in the works coming from the team that brought you Halifax Burger Week. We’ve surveyed the masses, and Haligonians want more handy food. So mark your calendars, cancel your plans: it’s time for tacos to be lifted from their Tuesday night timeslot…  in support of Feed Nova Scotia. HALIFAX TACO WEEK IS HERE

Kejimkujik Exhibition 2019 “by their very nature”
Monday November 18 5:30pm | Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCAD, 1891 Granville St, Halifax
by their very nature, a product of the 2019 NSCAD University/ Parks Canada collaboration, is a group exhibition by fifteen participants of a week long residency at Kejimikujik National Park. Influenced by integrated, place-based learning, the group explored the imposed divide of human space and wilderness. Their works contend with separation and belonging in the interwoven layers of a place’s environmental, cultural, and constructed systems.

Kairos Blanket Exercise-Stronger Together-Central Region
Tuesday November 19 09am | Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, Gottingen Street
The KAIROS Blanket Exercise™ program is a unique, participatory history lesson – developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators – that fosters truth, understanding, respect and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. The KAIROS Blanket Exercise™ is a workshop that explores the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Blankets arranged on the floor represent land and participants are invited to step into the roles of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples. The workshop helps people to understand how the colonization of this land impacts those who were here long before settlers arrived. It engages people’s minds and hearts in understanding why the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is often broken and how we can take action together.

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 Council Coordinator Laura Nooyen.  Her number is 902-490-7177 and her email is

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: