Community events, 21/22 paving, Coronavirus Update #42 restrictions lifted, vaccine roll out, programs and more

Good day all!

Today is a great day, actually. It appears that we have successfully navigated the potential community spread, gotten thing back under control, and the province is lifting many HRM specific restrictions tomorrow. 

In addition, Premier Rankin and Dr Strang announce that all Nova Scotians should be able to receive their first shot of the vaccination by the end of June.

Given reports that a single shot appears to be highly effective in terms of stopping serious illness and asymptomatic spread, this is really good news. We can expect some level of normalcy this summer.

I urge you to consider that given it takes about four weeks for the shot to be effective, we will likely have to continue to wear masks and take precautions until sometime in July. 

I put more information about the changes in restrictions and provincial and federal programs in the Coronavirus section near the end of this newsletter.

I’m excited to share the news that Ronald McDonald house is looking to build a new purpose built facility on South Street.  Huddle wrote “A $3-million fundraising campaign has been launched to help build a new Ronald McDonald House in Halifax. The house provides a home away from home for Maritime families travelling to Halifax for hospital care. Leslie McLean, a co-chair of the fundraising campaign, said the new space will double the number of families they can support. “In recent years, the requests from families has far surpassed the size of the house that we have,” said McLean. “In fact, we’ve had to turn away one in three families, which has been devastating.” The Ronald McDonald House will go from supporting up to 18 families a night to 36 families. That works out to more than 1,200 families per year.” More here: https://huddle.today/3-million-campaign-launched-for-new-ronald-mcdonald-house-in-halifax/

Recently Hospice Halifax created an installation called the #HaliHeart on Spring Garden Road in front of the Halifax Public Library, and we want to invite you to show it some love!

The #HaliHeart is meant to warm up the heart and community during the coldest months of the year this February and March, and keep our connections aglow despite our social distancing. Check Out The Global News Coverage Here: https://globalnews.ca/video/7642738/hospice-halifax-unveils-haliheart-installation-at-halifax-central-library

Hospice Halifax had to get creative this year to raise awareness, and so we are asking you to help us by taking a photo with our #HaliHeart and posting to your social media! This is an easy way to support Hospice Halifax, and share the warmth with your networks.  I’ll be heading down this week to check it out!

Finally, pleased to share the District 7 2021/22 road, sidewalk, and bike lane paving list.  Staff will make every effort to design, tender and construct in 2021; however, unforeseen circumstances may arise which could impact on the scheduling of the project, and potentially cause delays. It is r intention to complete this list in 2021; is an unexpected delay. We will keep you apprised if any issues arise concerning the timing of the projects as we make our way through the design/tendering phases.

Street Recapitalization – paving, curbs
Harbourview Dr – Young to Tower
Oakland Rd – Robie to Studley (Integrated Traffic Calming)
Spring Garden Rd – Queen to South Park (Multi-model/Streetscaping P&D)

Asphalt Overlays
Argyle St – Duke to Prince (we will get back to you on the timing)
Blowers St – Granville to Market
Cornwall St – Preston to Oxford (Integrated Traffic Calming)
Market St – Blowers to Sackville

Sidewalk Renewals
Oakland Rd – Robie to Waterloo (N)
Oakland Rd – Cartaret to Studley (N)
Oakland Rd – Robie to Bellevue (S)

AAA Bikeways
Terminal Rd – Hollis to Lower Water

Bridges
CN South St Bridge Repair (more details below)

Planer Patching
Morris St – South Park to Lower Water
South Park St – Inglis to South

Crack Sealing
Brunswick St – Cornwallis to Duke
Cogswell Roundabout – North Park to North Park
Cogswell St – Robie to North Park
Cornwallis St – North Park to Barrington
Cunard Roundabout – North Park to North Park
Duke St – Brunswick to Upper Water
Jubilee Rd – Vernon to Pryor
Pepperell St – Robie to Oxford
Prince St – Lower Water to Brunswick
Queen St – Spring Garden to Sackville
Queen St – Morris to Kent
South St – Oxford to Le Marchant
Summer St – Bell to Veterans Memorial
Trollope St – Cogswell to Bell

Public Meetings

Halifax Regional Council – virtual meetings

  • Tuesday, March 9th at 10:00 a.m
  • Tuesday, March 23rd at 10:00 a.m.

Agenda here: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/agendas-meetings-reports?category=127

Budget Committee – virtual meetings

  • Wednesday, March 3rd at 9:30 a.m.
  • Friday, March 5th at 9:30 a.m. (Contingency Date)
  • Wednesday, March 10th at 9:30 a.m.
  • Friday, March 12th at 9:30 a.m. (Contingency Date)
  • Wednesday, March 24th at 9:30 a.m.
  • Friday, March 26th at 9:30 a.m. (Contingency Date)
  • Wednesday, March 31st at 9:30 a.m.

Agendas here –  https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/agendas-meetings-reports?category=1181

Halifax & West Community Council – virtual meetings

  • Tuesday, March 30th at 6:00 p.m.

Agenda here – https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/agendas-meetings-reports?category=140

Information about how to watch or participate in virtual meetings can be found on the agenda pages. Please confirm meeting dates and times on our website as dates and times are subject to change.

Community Events

International Women’s Day | Monday March 8 2021, 10am to noon
The Halifax Regional Municipality’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion/ANSAIO and Halifax Public Libraries are inviting residents to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 virtually, on Monday, March 8. Co-hosted by Councillor Pamela Lovelace and Christine Qin Yang, the event’s keynote speaker will be Rajean Willis – a clinical social worker, writer, researcher and PhD candidate from Truro. The virtual event will also feature performances as well as a panel discussion around this year’s theme – Choose to Challenge: Women’s Resilience in the Time of COVID-19.
Registration: All are welcome to register for this free virtual event on Zoom here.
Following the event, a video recording will be available at: https://www.youtube.com/user/HRMNovaScotia 
Learn more about International Women’s Day 2021

International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination | Sunday, March 21, 2021
This year, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is focused on the midterm review of the International Decade for People of African Descent undertaken by the Human Rights Council in Geneva as part of its 43rd session.
The United Nations General Assembly reiterates that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies.
https://www.un.org/en/observances/end-racism-day

Community Grants Program 2020/21 | Deadline March 31, 2021
A reminder that the 2021 Community Grants Program deadline for applications is March 31st. The program provides annual cash grants to registered non-profit organizations and charities located throughout the Halifax region. There are two types of grants:

  • a project grant of up to $5,000
  • a capital grant of up to $25,000

At present, the program provides assistance to specific types of projects in the following categories:

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Environment
  • Emergency Assistance & Neighbourhood Safety
  • History
  • Housing
  • Leisure
  • Recreation

Here are the links to the guide and application form:

2021 Community Grants Program Guide book (contains application). https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/business/grants/Community%20Grants%20Program%20Guidebook_0.pdf

2021 Application Fillable pdf (please review Program Guidebook) https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/business/grants/GrantsApplicationForm2021fillable.pdf

For assistance, please contact Peter Greechan, Community Developer for Grants and Contributions, at: 902.490.7310 or greechp@halifax.ca.

Building Neighbourhoods for Everyone, With Everyone | March 2021
Come and find out about all the amazing things that your North End neighbours have to share with you and how you can get involved! With 8 projects and 36 unique sessions to take part in, there’s something for everyone in the month of March. Halifax’s North End is a special place, and home to many people with different languages, cultures, skills and hobbies. Every One Every Day has worked with local residents and organizations to highlight some of these skills and create opportunities for neighbours to connect and share. These activities are designed and hosted by the people who live here and offer inspiration for the kinds of things we could be doing more of to make everyday life better for everyone.

Taking part is easy. The projects you will find here are all about doing practical, creative things with people nearby, and finding more ways for people to connect and learn across the neighbourhood. The wide range of sessions such as neighbourhood walks, making your own dream catcher, or preparing healthy snacks for kids, means that there are many different ways to get involved and fuel your creativity. They are all free to attend and open to everyone. More info here: https://halifaxiseveryone.ca/

Metrowork Options Working Activity Program – spots open now | Ongoing
The Options Work Activity Program at MetroWorks is a provincially funded program, which provides free employability training to people 16 years and older who face barriers to employment. Their goal is to connect unemployed or under-employed folks with meaningful employment.Their program offers a combination of:

  • individual employment counseling,
  • personal development,
  • essential skills,
  • team building,
  • employability skills development,
  • basic skill development and,
  • a ten week on-the-job work placement.

They are currently offering full-time on-site programming, but please note that schedule and program delivery may change to adhere to provincial guidelines and restrictions.  Attached is our program flyer for your printing and posting as well as sharing.
More info here: http://www.mymetroworks.ca/options/

Roadworks Update

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

  • SEYMOUR ST from UNIVERSITY AVE to COBURG RD, starting on 2021-03-02

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

Additionally, residents should be aware of the South Street Bridge Rehabilitation Proposed Project. Canadian National Railway (CN) and Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) are proceeding with bridge and roadway rehabilitation work on the arch bridge structure at South Street in 2021. The work will involve a major rehabilitation of the structure and reinstatement of the roadway. A detour route comprised of Beaufort Avenue, Oakland Road, and Rockcliffe Street will provide access to the South Street neighbourhood during construction.
Work is expected to begin on site in April 2021. All efforts will be taken to reduce the impact to your property during construction. Parking access will be impacted during construction in order to complete the work. contact the CN Public Inquiry Line at 1-888-888-5909 or at contact@cn.ca if you have any questions.

Coronavirus Update #42 – personal and business supports option

Thank you, Halifax and Nova Scotia for following the rules, getting tested, and keeping each other safe. Let’s keep up the asymptomatic testing. Find upcoming dates and locations here.

Many restrictions that came into effect on Feb. 27, such as restaurant hours, sport competitions, culture performances and non-essential travel, will end Friday, March 5 at 8 a.m.

The following activities will be allowed:

  • travel in and out of HRM and surrounding municipalities
  • participants and officials in performing arts and sports (recreational, amateur and professional) can gather in groups of up to 60 people without social distancing for rehearsals, performances, practices and regular competitive schedule
  • spectators at performing arts and sports will be allowed as long as the host facilities have a gathering plan
  • the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will reopen public school gyms for after-school use on March 6
  • restaurants and bars will return to previous dine-in service requirements, with service stopped by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.
  • weddings and funeral in a faith facility or funeral homes can have 150 people outdoors or 50 per cent of capacity to a maximum of 100 indoors. Receptions and visitations continue to be not permitted in HRM and surrounding municipalities

COVID-19 Recovery Benefits and EI Regular Benefits [Update – February 25, 2021] – Government of Canada
The government has introduced several proposed changes to entitlement under the Canada Recovery Benefit(CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and regular EI benefits. The proposed changes include:
o   An increase to the number of weeks available under the CRB and the CRCB (extending the maximum duration from 26 weeks to up to 38 weeks);
o   An increase to the number of weeks available under the CRSB – from 2 to 4 weeks;
o   An increase to the number of weeks of EI regular benefits by up to 24 weeks to a maximum of 50 weeks (for claims between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021);
o   Allowing self-employed workers who have opted into the EI program to use a 2020 earnings threshold of $5,000 to access special benefits, rather than $7,555; and
o   Making non-exempt international travelers ineligible to receive COVID-19 support benefits for the period of their mandatory quarantine upon their return, retroactive to October 2, 2020. Source 1.Source 2.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) amounts to remain unchanged through to June 2021
On March 3, the federal government announced new details on the CEWS and CERS that will be applicable from March 14, 2021 to June 5, 2021. The backgrounder states:

  • The rate structures for the CEWS for active employees, the CERS, and lockdown support that are currently in place until March 13, 2021, will be extended from March 14 to June 5, 2021.

The CEWS rate structure for furloughed employees will also remain the same as the rate structure currently in place.

Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund [Update – February 25, 2021] – Government of Canada
The government has announced that the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund will be administered by the Federation of African-Canadian Economics (F.A.C.E.); a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization. They will begin accepting applications under the program in May 2021. The Fund is part of the Black Entrepreneurship Program, introduced to provide targeted support to respond to the economic impacts of the pandemic. Working through Canadian financial institutions, the Fund will provide loans of $25,000 to $250,000 for Black business owners and entrepreneurs. Further details on eligibility and other criteria expected shortly. Source.

Canada’s Feminist Response and Recovery Summit [February 24, 2021] – Government of Canada
The government has announced that it will host a 2-day summit, “Canada’s Feminist Response and Recovery”, on March 8 and 9, 2021. The summit will feature presentations and interactive sessions focusing on the steps that governments and civil society can take to ensure an inclusive response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration is limited to 1000 participants. Further information on the summit and details on how to register available here.

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