Common parkade, NS Power, Tree City, Grafton Park, more

I am not going to write extensively about the proposed Common Parkade and redundant power plant today. Please go and sign the petition so that the Premier and Minister Hines and MLA Kousoulis know that the public really is against this plan.

My motivations for fighting this poorly conceived plan are many, but simply – my job as a municipal councillor is to defend parks and planning.

I need to make sure that the historic Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers can continue their important work of recreation for youth, therapeutic riding, and outreach to our community. Lancers and their programs are a beloved part of our community. We’ve been quietly talking about making sure the Common plan would allow for potential expansion of Lancers (something I absolutely support) and every square foot of space being used by something else makes that harder and harder.

Similarly, the ability to use Wanderers Grounds for professional and elite level games and the success of HFX Wanderers FC are impacted by removing the green space currently used for concessions and queuing up for admission on game days.

The people of the province are clearly against this plan. The Cape Breton Post wrote an editorial against it.  Many others have spoken out here, here and here to name a few.  I’ve gotten emails from all across Nova Scotia. I think the government is reluctantly hearing this.

If I was the government at this point I would be asking hard questions and looking to get new folks in charge of this important project.

Again please sign the petition.

Many of you may have seen the letter that 750+ residents in the South to Oxford to Robie to Quinpool area received from Nova Scotia Power outlining steps they are taking to restore reliability to our neighbourhood.  Something less than half the people in that large area are still on an older substation that needs to be replaced, and all of the wires and transformers will be upgraded at that time.

NS Power met with me two weeks ago and walked me through the plans, and they intend to start in the next few weeks (pending weather) and have it wrapped up in about a year.  I want to thank Nova Scotia Power for meeting with me and being very forthright about the challenges and taking ownership that the service is not meeting their (or our!) standards. I look forward to seeing trucks in tree trimming and replacing polls in anticipation of the new cables and transformers arriving soon.

Funnily enough, Halifax was just very excited to announce that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) along with the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Halifax with Tree Cities of the World designation.

The international program celebrates cities across all continents that meet core standards for the care and planning of urban trees and forests.  You can read more about that here.

It is funny because our trees are a huge contributor to power and communications interruptions in the winter…. I am working this budget year to get more money in the coming budget for pruning and maintenance of our street trees!

Grafton Park, the property that the former library is on, is having a Heritage site registration public hearing Tuesday February 11 at 1pm.  If granted this will help protect the many graves under the site, which was once the Poor House burial ground.

There has been some unwarranted concern that the municipality is considering selling this property, which is absolutely untrue. It is important that residents know Council has never voted to sell this land, or direct staff to sell this land.

All of the Council motions and direction regarding Grafton Park are a matter of public record, and I have published them (with links to relevant staff reports) on my blog

Public Hearings and Important Meetings

Halifax Regional Council

Tuesday, February 11, 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. | Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street

Budget Committee
Wednesday, February 12, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street

Halifax and West Community Council
Tuesday, February 18, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. |Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street

You can find the agenda, minutes and reports for Regional Council, and Committees of Council here.

Community Events

Zú in Halifax
Tuesday, February 11, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Volta, 1505 Barrington Street, Unit #100

Meet the Montreal Creative Hub Redefining Entertainment!  Zú provides start-ups from the entertainment sector with the resources to succeed. They are touring Canada to meet entrepreneurs and creatives. More information can be found here.

University of King’s College Chapel Choir Evensong
Wednesday, February 12, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | University of King’s College Chapel, 6350 Coburg Road

Join the University of King’s College Chapel Choir for one hour of candlelit music and reflection, with music by Morley, Byrd, Isaac, and Bach.  More information can be found here.

Lift Every Voice 5: African Heritage Month Musical Showcase
Wednesday, February 12, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall, Floor 1

From a gospel choir to soloists to drummers, this marquee evening has a reputation for being good for the soul, energizing for the heart, and a grand scale celebration of Nova Scotia talent.  More information can be found here..

In Conversation with Melanie Colosimo
Thursday, February 13, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 1723 Hollis Street

Join Melanie Colosimo, curator of the exhibition NSCAD Lithography Workshop: Contemporary Editions, for a talk and tour of the exhibition with Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Chief Curator Sarah Fillmore.  More information can be found here.

Winter Bike to Work Day Rise and Grind
Friday, February 14, 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. | Cyclesmith, 2553 Agricola Street, Halifax

It’s Winter Bike to Work Day, so get out your bike, suit up for the weather, and stop by Cyclesmith on your way to work or school for some free steaming hot coffee and yummy breakfast treats.  More information can be found here.

LGBTQ2+ Women’s Networking Breakfast
Friday, February 14, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. | Tempo, 1875 Barrington Street, Halifax

Join Deloitte at their networking breakfast for LGBTQ2+ professional women. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast, trade business cards and connect! More information is available here.

Newfangled Presents Uncaged
Saturday, February 15, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall, Floor 1

Join vocalist Janice Isabel Jackson and pianist Barbara Pritchard as they explore music by John Cage and the Canadian composers who were inspired by his music and philosophy.  More detail can be found here.

Welcome Weekend 2020:  Sunday Unplugged
Sunday, February 16, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Halifax Convention Centre, 1650 Argyle Street, Halifax

Visit the Halifax Convention Centre for Sunday Unplugged – a free community event for the whole family!  Enjoy live music from ECMA artists, delicious local samples from Taste of Nova Scotia members, and take in the spectacular views of the city.  More information can be found here.

Black Is Beautiful
Sunday, February 16, 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. |Pier 21, 1055 Marginal Street, Halifax 

Join Symphony Nova Scotia as they showcase a free performance of black performers and composers in a concert that will surprise and engage you. Hear music from icons like Duke Ellington, Whitney Houston, Chevalier St. Georges, Jimi Hendrix, Beyoncé, and many more!  From African hymns to jazz, funk, and hip-hop, western Black music is a story of struggle and celebration. You can find out more here.

African Heritage Read-In with Shauntay Grant
Sunday, February 16, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Central Library, Lindsay Children’s Room, Floor 2

Come celebrate African-Canadian and African-American authors and illustrators.  There will be stories, songs, and play.  Ages 3-7.  More information available here.

How to Sell Your Stuff on Kijiji
Tuesday, February 18, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Central Library, Lou Duggan Creative Studio, Floor 2

Dive into the wonderful world of Kijiji.  Learn how to create free ads to sell your items, write descriptions, add pictures, and set your sale price. More information can be found here.

Powering Research + Development With Mitacs
Wednesday, February 19, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Volta, Lobby Level of the Maritime Centre, 1505 Barrington Street, Unit 100

Are you interested in growing your business and advancing your innovation goals at a reduced financial cost? If so, attend a Lunch + Learn to learn more about Mitacs, a national research-funding agency dedicated to solving business problems and driving innovation in Canada. Lunch will be provided!More information is available here.

Author’s Stage: Pollution & Passion – Our Life on the Ocean
Wednesday, February 19, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Central Library, Lindsay Children’s Room, Floor 2

Join ocean journalist Laura Tretheway for an engaging talk about her new book “Imperilled Ocean: Human Stories from a Changing Sea” with a special guest host to be announced.  More information can be found here.


The Power of Poetry: Celebrating Halifax Poet Laureate Afua Cooper
Thursday, February 20, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street

Discover the powerful poetry of Dr. Afua Cooper, Halifax’s current Poet Laureate.   More information can be found here.

Puppet Show: Anansi & The Moss Covered Rock
Saturday, February 22, 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Central Library, Lindsay Children’s Room, Floor 2

Watch your favourite stories come to life.  More information can be found here.

Speaking My Home:  A Community Celebration of Languages
Saturday, February 22, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall, Floor 1

Did you know that over 100 languages are spoken in Halifax, adding rich cultural diversity to our community?  If you are interested in learning a new language, explore opportunities with the participants in our Language Fair and enjoy some multi-lingual storytelling.   More information can be found here.

Black Genealogy:  Affirmations of Black Loyalists
Saturday, February 22, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Central Library, BMO Community Room, Floor 2

Follow the detailed journey of the military unit known as the Black Pioneer Corps from America to Nova Scotia and hear the untold stories about settling in this province.  More information can be found here.

Coldest Night of the Year
Saturday, February 22, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | All Nations Church, 2535 Robie Street, Halifax

Participate in the Coldest Night of the Year, a family friendly walk that raises money for ARK Halifax, a community that serves the homeless, hungry and hurting on the streets of Halifax.  All donations go to ARK Halifax.  Minimum fee is $25.  You can find more information here.

Winterlude 2020
Saturday, 22 February 2020 from 1:00pm-11:30 (two shows) | The McInness Room, Student Union Building (2nd Floor) 6136 University Avenue, Dalhousie University

Winterlude is the Fine Arts Parents Association’s main fundraising activity—a celebration and showcase of the vocal and instrumental talents of the Halifax Regional Arts Music (West) Program. Proceeds from the event go directly to support Halifax Regional Arts Music (West) students.
1:00 – 3:00 pm – Afternoon schedule, balloon pop & raffle baskets
7:00 – 11:20 pm – Evening performances, DJ dance, raffle baskets & silent auction
More information can be found here.

How can we help?

Call my office
Call my office for assistance with your municipal issues.  You can reach my Coordinator Lucille Walsh during the business day, her phone number is 902-490-2012 and her mail

311 – HRM’s Call Centre
HRM’s call centre is open 7 days a week, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 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: