We need to ensure that our municipality is a place where residents are economically secure and hopeful while ensuring equity and access for all.
Part of this will be to continue to address the recommendations in the 2014 Roundtable Report on Violence and Public Safety in HRM (Clairmont Report) and the 2019 Halifax Nova Scotia Street Checks (Wortley) report, and to meaningfully address anti-Black racism and all forms of discrimination in our community, and especially through review and changes to the operations of the municipality.
I also acknowledge the hurt and the injustice that racism has caused to so many in Halifax, both in the broad community and specifically through the action and inaction of the municipal government, both historically and in the present day. I continue to learn and educate myself while also amplifying the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in District 7 and HRM.
Housing is a human right — and we must continue to work to ensure everyone in HRM can access safe, reliable and affordable housing. In order to do this effectively, I will continue to advocate for the legislative change required to give HRM the power it needs to be an effective champion of affordable housing.
The small business community also plays an essential role in how Halifax functions, both economically and culturally. Halifax must continue its red tape reduction efforts, while working with Halifax Partnership to develop a new five-year Economic Strategy for a post-pandemic recovery, business-friendly Halifax, helping the sector rebound from the immense blow it faced due to COVID-19.
What will it look like in practice? I’m committing to achieving these objectives by working to:
- Work hard, keep learning, and to support HRM in confronting and addressing issues of systemic racism, discrimination and lack of equity. Specifically, I will ensure that the municipality completes the work already underway, as outlined in reports on public safety, street checks and the Employee Service Review.
- Launch the Density Bonus Funded Affordable Housing Program by 2021 to fund the creation of affordable housing for the first time since amalgamation, to support the construction and renovation of not-for-profit affordable housing throughout HRM.
- Complete the Centre Plan delayed by COVID-19 by 2021 and the suburban and rural land use plan and main street investment reviews by 2024 to ensure the whole region benefits from good planning and complete, walkable, bikeable streets.
- Implement the Halifax Partnership–led COVID-19 economic recovery plan in 2020-21 and transition to the next phase of our Halifax Economic Strategy, while working with industry and community partners to continue our award-winning red tape reduction program.
- Develop a new Halifax Partnership five-year economic strategy to start in 2021, which will respond to the post-COVID-19 environment and continue to build on Halifax’s economic and social advantages.