Budget, Community News, Meetings, Coronavirus Update #40

Hello and welcome to 2021.  Like you I have hopes for a better year than 2020, and despite the mess and horror south of our national border I still do.

New Zealand, who has been one of the world leaders in strong controls and quick response to Coronavirus has no cases and has seen a remarkable and quick economic recovery.  New Zealand jobs market bounces back close to pre-pandemic levels – Country’s biggest job advertising website reports 19% growth in jobs, after remarkable economic recovery in December https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/13/new-zealand-jobs-market-bounces-back-close-to-pre-pandemic-levels

It is stories like this that both give me confidence we are taking the right approach in Nova Scotia and that recovery will be much faster than I feared even a few months ago. As vaccinations roll out and the weather warms, I am hoping for a more normal summer and a return to normalcy by the Fall.

Until then we all will continue to do what we can stay safe, protect the vulnerable in our communities, and keep working as we can in these challenging times.

Halifax’s new Regional Council has started our new budget process.  I appreciate all the emails I get about what you would and would not like to see in the next year.  The initial strategic direction report and presentation is here:  https://halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council/january-13-2021-special-budget-committee-meeting

I’ve had a number of complaints about some dogs in Point Pleasant Park not under control of their owners in the off-leash areas.  For those using Point Pleasant Park with their dogs, there is signage that clearly indicates where dogs are permitted off leash and where they are not.

I ask all dog owners to review the rules they must follow when their dog is in an off-leash area.  These include that dogs must have current municipal tags, your dog must come to you when called, dogs must not interfere with other park users, and that aggressive dogs, female dogs in heat, and puppies under three months old are not permitted in off-leash areas.

Full list of rules is here: https://www.halifax.ca/home-property/animal-services/halifax-leash-areas

Not for profit groups are reminded the deadline for the Community Grants Program applications is March 31, 2021.   https://www.halifax.ca/business/doing-business-halifax/community-non-profit-resources/community-grants

Finally, Did you know HRCE has Parent Navigators who can help students and their care givers with school related challenges?  Parent Navigator offer students, parents and guardians:

  • Response to questions about supports available for students, parents and guardians
  • Help for parents and guardians find and access services available in education, justice, health, community services and more
  • Assistance with registration for all families; including new comers to the province or Canada
  • Connections for families to the Students Services Team, Specialists or special program team facilitators

Please contact:

Missy Searl
lsearl@hrce.ca
Phone:  902 464-2000 x 4362

Stephen Somers
ssomers@hrce.ca
902-464-2000 x 4361

Public Meetings

Budget Committee (all Council)
Wednesday, January 20, 2020, 10 am | Virtual Meeting
Friday, January 29, 2020, 10 am | Virtual Meeting

Wednesday, February 3, 2020, 10 am | Virtual Meeting
Friday, February 5, 2020, 10 am | Virtual Meeting
https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/agendas-meetings-reports?category=1181

Halifax & West Community Council
Tuesday, January 19, 2020, 6 pm | Virtual Meeting
VIRTUAL PUBLIC HEARING – Case 22617 – Commercial garage at 207 and 209 Greenhead Road, Lakeside. VIRTUAL PUBLIC HEARING – Case 22978 – expansion to the existing residential care facility at 158 Greenhead Road, Lakeside
https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/agendas-meetings-reports?category=140

Halifax Regional Council
Tuesday, January 26, 2020, 10 am | Virtual Meeting
https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/agendas-meetings-reports?category=127

Regional Centre Community Council
Wednesday, January 27 2020, 6 pm | Virtual Meeting
https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/agendas-meetings-reports?category=1207

Roadworks Update

The following street closures or sidewalk disruptions have recently been added to the RoadWorks map

  • SACKVILLE ST from BARRINGTON ST to GRANVILLE ST, starting on 2020-09-19
  • SOUTH PARK ST from SACKVILLE ST to SPRING GARDEN RD, starting on 2020-09-17
  • SOUTH ST from QUEEN ST to SOUTH PARK ST, starting on 2021-01-14

You can find out road closure details on the HRM Roadworks map:
https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/streets-sidewalks/RoadWorks

Coronavirus Update #40 – economic impact of strong public health response, vaccination, government updates

Below are the weekly COVID-19 government support / program tracker update(s) for the week of December 21 – January 8 that is being collated by HRM staff.  I will share these updates as I get them.

Update on Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan [January 5, 2020] – Province of Nova Scotia
The province has released further details on the rollout of the COVID-19 Immunization Plan for Nova Scotia. The plan will roll out in 3 phases. Phase 1 is expected to run from January to April and will focus on front-line health-care workers closely involved in the COVID-19 response, residential care residents and staff, and seniors living in the community who are 80 years of age or older. Phase 2 is expected to begin in May and will include remaining health-care workers and essential workers. Phase 3 is expected to commence in the summer of 2021, and will include all Nova Scotians who are not part of the Phase 1 and 2 priority groups. Source.

Additional Funding for the Canadian Red Cross [Update – December 23, 2020] – Government of Canada
The government has announced an additional $70 million in funding to the Canada Red Cross to support ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts. This is in addition to the $100 million previously announced in May 2020. The additional funding will be provided prior to April 2021, and will be allocated as follows:

  • $35 million for Red Cross personnel to support Outbreak Crisis Management activities; and,
  • $35 million for testing-related activities led by the Red Cross COVID-19 Testing Assistance Response Teams (CTART).

These resources are generally deployed in high priority areas hardest hit by the pandemic. Source.

Additional Mental Health and Addictions Funding for NS First Nation Communities [December 23, 2020] – Province of Nova Scotia
The province has announced $750,000 in new funding for Mi’kmaw communities and organizations across Nova Scotia for the provision of additional mental health and addictions support during COVID-19. The funding will be made available as $50,000 equal grants to each of the 13 Mi’kmaw communities across the province, as well as the Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselling Association and the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre in Halifax. Source.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) [Update – December 21, 2020] – Government of Canada
The government has announced that the maximum wage subsidy rate will be increased to 75 per cent for the period covering December 20, 2020 to March 13, 2021. The rate for furloughed workers will also go up to $595 for the same time period. Source.

As a transparency mechanism, the Canada Revenue Agency has also announced the launch of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Registry, which allows the public to identify which employers are using the wage subsidy to support jobs. Sole proprietors have been filtered out of the published registry in order to protect personal information. Source.

Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund [December 21, 2020] – Government of Canada
Through the Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund, the Royal Canadian Legion will receive $14 million in federal funding to distribute to its branches across the country. This funding will help Legion branches with operational expenses such as rent, insurance, utilities and administrative costs so they can focus on providing continued programing and services. The Royal Canadian Legion has announced the Legion branches that will receive support funding. A second application opportunity will be offered in January 2021 for branches that could not make the initial deadline. Source.

Emergency Food Security Fund [Update – December 18, 2020] – Government of Canada
The government has released details on $100 million in new funding that is being provided to food banks and food security organizations across Canada under the Emergency Food Security Fund. The new funding is in addition to the $100 million announced in April 2020. The funding will be allocated as follows:

  • $18.5 million to Food Banks Canada;
  • $18.5 million to Breakfast Club of Canada;
  • $8.9 million to Second Harvest;
  • $8.9 million to Community Food Centres Canada;
  • $8.85 million to the Salvation Army;
  • $1.34 million to La Tablée des Chefs;
  • $30 million to Indigenous Services Canada to bolster its Indigenous Community Support Fund; and
  • $5 million will be allocated from reserve funds. Source.

Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) [Update – December 21, 2020] The province has announced that, in addition to the federal RHI investment of $8.7 million, it will contribute more than $1.8 million to help ensure that the 3 approved RHI affordable housing projects are financially sustainable over the long term. The provincial funding is intended to be allocated toward the upkeep and operations management of the new affordable housing units. Source.

Emergency Food Security Fund [Update – December 18, 2020] – Government of Canada
The government has announced that it will provide an additional $100 million in funding for food banks and food security organizations across Canada under the Emergency Food Security Fund. The new funding is in addition to the $100 million announced in April 2020. The funding will be allocated as follows:

  • $18.5 million to Food Banks Canada;
  • $18.5 million to Breakfast Club of Canada;
  • $8.9 million to Second Harvest;
  • $8.9 million to Community Food Centres Canada;
  • $8.85 million to the Salvation Army;
  • $1.34 million to La Tablée des Chefs;
  • $30 million to Indigenous Services Canada to bolster its Indigenous Community Support Fund; and
  • $5 million will be allocated from reserve funds. Source.

 

How can we help?

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/

Call my office
Call my office for assistance with your municipal issues. Please have your 311 reference number ready.  You can reach my Coordinator Liam MacSween during the business day, his phone number is 902-490-2012 and his email is macswel@Halifax.CA

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

Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Council Reports and Agendas
Halifax 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