Rapid Transit, South Park, EV charging, more

We have had a number of cold but beautiful days as winter continues to hold us in its grasp!

I wanted to note for anyone who has not been walking much due to temperatures that the sidewalk in front of the new Pavilion/Curve/YMCA on South Park is open!  Work is still happening in and around the area but it is shaping up nicely.  South Park sidewalk reopenedPlease consider going down and buying a taco or banh mi sub from the businesses who had to live with construction the last few years.  I look forward to seeing the bike lane extended from Spring Garden to Sackville this spring, connecting it to the Bell Road lanes, and the Common!

I am eagerly awaiting the Provincial budget this week.  What I am looking for is some sign the government is listening to the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities in terms of structural problems with the capacity grant, roads, and other financial issues, and to Halifax about the need to see full provincial funding now for the Federal/Provincial programs for transit, green, and affordable housing.  There are hundreds of millions in Federal dollars sitting unused and unaccessed right now for these three areas, but I am hopeful we can see some sign of hope this week.

One of the things that can only happen with full provincial participation is rapid transit.

Halifax Transit and Planning & Development staff are developing a strategy to establish a rapid transit network.  The aim is to get even more residents where they want to go, when they want to go, faster and more frequently – seven days a week.

Modes currently under consideration as part of the strategy include Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and an expansion of the harbour ferry service. The proposed BRT network consists of four routes and builds on the BRT Study completed in 2018. Key aspects of the proposed BRT network include station/stop types and approximate locations, and a desired network of bus lanes and transit priority measures. Additional ferry service is being explored to assess rapid transit connections between Bedford, North Dartmouth, and Downtown Halifax. Elements being explored include terminal locations, travel times, and vessel types.

A lot of work has been done already, and now Halifax is seeking public feedback on the proposed rapid transit network. We hope to see you in communities across Halifax at informal pop-pop sessions, where you can learn about the proposed network, ask questions, share their feedback, and participate in a survey.

The schedule for the pop-up sessions is listed below and more detail about the project and the online survey can be found here: https://www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/rapid-transit.

Pop-Up Session Schedule

Scotia Square Wednesday March 4 11:00am-1:00pm
Halifax Central Library Wednesday March 4 2:30pm-4:30pm
Dartmouth North Community Centre Library Thursday March 5 9:00am-11:00am
Sunnyside Mall Thursday March 5 1:00pm-3:00pm
Cole Harbour Place Thursday March 5 6:00pm-8:00pm
Alderney Landing Pedway Friday March 6 10:00am-12:00pm
Keshen Goodman Library Friday March 6 2:00pm-4:00pm
Captain Spry Centre – Aquatics Room Friday March 6 6:00pm-8:00pm
Halifax Forum Farmers Market Saturday March 7 8:00am-10:00am
Halifax North End Library Saturday March 7 12:00pm-2:00pm

Staying with mobility and transport, I’ve started to get enquiries from residents about whether HRM regulates the provision of EV chargers in buildings. Unfortunately, HRM does not have the authority to require EV chargers in new or existing buildings. The Municipality recognizes that there is a lack of charging infrastructure, especially for residents without access to private overnight charging (i.e. no garage, driveway, or those who live in multi-unit residential buildings). Changes to require inclusion of EV chargers in new or allow refitting them into older buildings will require a change to provincial law.

This isn’t to say we are not still working on it! Earlier this year the Municipality issued an RFP for developing a municipal electric vehicle strategy that will address barriers to adopting EVs and advance Halifax as becoming an EV-ready city. The strategy will aim to develop a public charging infrastructure deployment plan which will define suitable charging locations like public parking and municipally owned facilities. When it comes to residents without access to private overnight charging, alternative options like charging hubs will be investigated. The strategy will also investigate and recommend impactful policies, programs and incentives to drive the adoption of EVs.

Some initiatives could be expanding PACE (Solar City) to include charging infrastructure or requesting appropriate charter amendments from the province to gain the authority needed to require charging infrastructure in new and existing buildings. The full RFP can be found here: https://procurement.novascotia.ca/tender-details.aspx?id=HRM-20-036

A recommendation report to Regional Council outlining initiatives to increase the number of electric vehicles and charging stations in the Municipality can be found here: https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/190917rc1532.pdf

Public Hearings and Important Meetings

Halifax Regional Council
Tuesday, February 25, 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. | Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street

Point Pleasant Park Advisory Committee
Thursday, March 5, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. |Halifax Hall, Main Floor, City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street

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

Community Events

Halifax Jazz Festival: Miles Davis – Birth of the Cool
Sunday, February 23, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall, Floor 1
Celebrate the debut of a new documentary directed by Stanley Nelson.  This documentary uses archival photos and home movies shot by Miles and his colleagues along with his manuscripts and original paintings to show us the man behind the music.  More information is available here.

Celebrate African Canadian Women Entrepreneurs
Monday, February 24, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, BMO Community Room, Floor 2
Join in an inspirational conversation with local business owners.  Learn from women of African Descent who have broken down barriers, faced challenges, and have become known for their business acumen.  More information can be found here.

Halifax Pride Event Planner Meeting
Monday, February 24, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, Lindsay Children’s Room, 2nd Floor
Have you thought about organizing an event during the Halifax Pride Festival?  Attend the meeting to learn about the 2020 festival and how to take part in the activities.  More information can be found here.

Retail Workshop – Price with Confidence
Tuesday, February 25, 12:00 p.m. | Craft Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road
Gain confidence by getting direction on how to price your pieces in a way that will value your skill, acknowledge your colleagues, and consider the retail market.  Admission is free; however, if you are interested in attending please contact Andrew Saint-Pierre at shopmanager@craftnovascotia.ca to reserve a spot.  More information can be found here.

Financial Orientation: Scams and Fraud Prevention Workshop
Tuesday, February 25, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | ISANS Mumford, 6960 Mumford Road, Suite 2120
Join this workshop to hear from Peter Moorhouse, the President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to learn how to protect yourself and your hard-earned money from scams and fraud and how the Better Business Bureau can benefit consumers.  More information can be found here.

Mardi Gras Concert with Global Centric
Tuesday, February 25, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall, Floor 1
Celebrate Mardi Gras 2020 with Global Centric, an 8-piece brass band bringing an East Coast Spin to the New Orleans tradition and beyond.  More information can be found here.

University of King’s College Chapel Choir Evensong
Wednesday, February 26, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Cathedral of All Saints, 1330 Cathedral Lane
Join the University of King’s College Chapel Choir for one hour of candlelit music and reflection, with music by Plainchant and Byrd.  More information can be found here.

CANSTech 2020 – the Construction Innovation and Technology Tradeshow
Thursday, February 27, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Cunard Centre, 961 Marginal Road
Join CANSTech as they unite interactive exhibitors and world-class speakers to showcase new technologies, upcoming trends and innovative products all under one roof.  This event is free; however, registration is required. You can find more information including the agenda and how to register here.

Artist Talk:  Shauntay Grant as Playwright
Thursday, February 27, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. |Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall, Floor 1
Step behind the scenes with one of Canada’s innovative, award-winning writers.  Shauntay Grant will workshop a scene from a new theatrical work.  You can find more information here.

Alex Fountain Memorial Lecture
Thursday, February 27, 7:30 p.m. | University of King’s College, Alumni Hall, 630 Coburg Road
Join Artist Kent Monkman as he presents the Alex Fountain Memorial Lecture.  The dominant version of history upheld in museums on this continent is told from the perspective of the colonial settler cultures who projected their values and ideals onto the Indigenous people and landscape of North America.  The lecture is free and open to the public, but King’s students will receive priority seating and space is not guaranteed to the public.  More information can be found here.

2020 Subway AUS Basketball Championships
Friday, February 28 – Sunday, March 1| Scotiabank Centre
Join the crowds to cheer on Atlantic Canada’s best youth basketball players as teams face off in grueling championship matches to win the 1st place title.  More information about teams, game times, and how to purchase tickets can be found here.

What the Folk!  – Saints & Sinners
Friday, February 28, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Local Women’s Council House, 989 Young Avenue
Join Guest Host, Joe Pitre to share songs and stories about the good, the bad, but maybe not the ugly in a fun evening of music and song about Saints and Sinners.  More information can be found here.

Open Heart Forgery Poetry Reading
Saturday, February 29, 2pm to 4pm | Glitter Bean Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road
Please join us for the launch of our March issue. Read your own work or just listen.
More info at http://ohforgery.com

Small Business Café Networking
Monday, March 2, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, RBC Learning Centre, Floor 3
Meet, learn, and share your experiences and issues with other small business owners like yourself.  Bring your business cards and get ready to connect.  More information available here.

Socially Responsible & Environmentally Friendly Investing
Tuesday, March 3, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, RBC Learning Centre, Floor 3
Combine financial return with a positive impact on society.  Learn how to be a responsible investor and align your investment goals with your personal values.  More information can be found here.

Women Entrepreneurs:  Your Numbers, Your Story
Wednesday, March 4, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, RBC Learning Centre, Floor 3
Learn what it means to be a woman entrepreneur and what you and other women need to run a successful business.  More information is available here.

The Secret 3K Walk/Run
Wednesday, March 4, 6:30 p.m. a.m. – 8:00 p.m. | The Running Room, 5514 Spring Garden Road
Held on the week of International Women’s Day, this race celebrates the right to run or walk outside in a safe environment.  Registration is $15.00.  More information can be found here.

Film Screening: Song of Granite
Thursday, March 5, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall, Floor 1
Acclaimed filmmaker Pat Collins brings the dramatic story of legendary sean nós singer Joe Heaney to the screen.  With an approach that marries traditional narrative episodes with documentary footage, the film celebrates the music Joe Heaney created while painting an unflinching portrait of the man himself.  More information can be found here.

In Concert: David Myles
Friday, March 6, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall, Floor 1
Celebrate Mois de la Francophonie with a special concert by multi-award winning songwriter and performer David Myles.  You won’t want to miss this special musical evening.  Tickets are free and only 300 are available.  More information on the event and how to obtain a ticket can be found here.

Dance Workshop with Atlantic Spinners: Fuse Fiesta
Saturday, March 7, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Central Library, BMO Community Room, Floor 2
Learn Bollywood dance, see traditional costumes, explore another culture through dance and the magic of music with Darshini Shah of ViBeat Dance Studio.  More information can be found here.

The French Horn Summit
Saturday, March 7, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall, Floor 1
Join in for some light and entertaining music at the first-annual French Horn Summit.  The concert will feature an acoustic program of music ranging from classical to pop.  More information can be found here.

Astounding Women of the Silver Screen: 40 Guns
Sunday, March 8, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, Room 301, Floor 3
Under the façade of a genre picture, 40 Guns is a masterpiece, with Barbara Stanwyck’s commanding, yet subtle, performance at its centre.  More information can be found here.

International Women’s Day Concert featuring Glass Winds
Sunday, March 8, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall, Floor 1
Join in an International Women’s Day concert by Glass Winds, the first all female inclusive Wind Ensemble in Nova Scotia.   More information can be found here.

Gala Dinner 2020 – A Fundraiser For Atlantic School of Theology
Friday, May 8 (Reserve before April 29) 6pm Dinner 7pm | The Lord Nelson Hotel 1515 South Park Street, Halifax, NS
Guest speaker Measha Brueggergosman has presentedsong recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center,Wigmore Hall, the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, the Teatro Real, as well as at the Schwarzenberg, Edinburgh, Tanglewood, Verbier, Bergen, and TorontoJazz Festivals. She has released several Juno and Grammy award-winning albums and recently launched her memoir SOMETHING IS ALWAYS ON FIRE.

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 walshl@halifax.ca

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 http://www.halifax.ca/311/

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: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council

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. https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/community-councils/halifax-west-community-council

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: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/boards-committees-commissions/h/halifax-peninsula-planning-advisory-committee