2022, heritage, parking ban, Coronavirus Update 50, more

In this issue

My Councillor Update talks about the current Omicron surge, heritage impact statements, and changes to the winter parking ban.

Public Meetings and Hearings has some online engagement information for those that may be interested. Roadworks has some new editions.  Coronavirus Update lists current impacts and supports.  Community Events is very festive, and reach out and get help rounds out the update.

Councillor Update

Hello all,

The current covid surge is obviously top of mind for everyone this New Year.  It’s had a direct impact on so many, and we are all living it.  Personally, we’ve had members of our family get covid, had to cancel all our plans, isolated because we had symptoms but just had a cold, and have been running around from Cole Harbour to Chester supporting family and friends with groceries, tests, and other things as they remain in isolation.

I got my booster shot Friday and was thankful to live in a Province where this mass public health program is underway.

I’ve got an update on Covid impacts below, but the two key takeaways I’d like to share.

First is that “mild” health impacts as has been widely reported with Omicron does not mean no long-term health impacts, nor does it mean there is no impact on the health system.  Making half as many people sick enough to hospitalize doesn’t help us if twice (or four times) as many people get sick, the math works out to same impact (or worse).

The second is that people are sick, caring for family, isolating waiting for tests means service impacts.  I read last week that the Brampton Ontario health care system was down 30% of staff. We are seeing similar impacts here in Nova Scotia in private business, education, health care, the municipality, the Province.  I am asking you to accept that things are going to go slow, and be canceled, for some time until we get through this, and it will take months to catch back up when it is over.

On December 14, 2021, Halifax Regional Council approved amendments to municipal By-law H-200, Respecting The Establishment Of A Heritage Advisory Committee And A Civic Registry Of Heritage Property to require a Heritage Impact Statement.  This will affect the submission requirements for development and planning applications that involve registered heritage properties within the municipality. The staff report can be found here.

A Heritage Impact Statement is a study to determine how a development proposal will impact a heritage building or property. This statement is an important planning tool to ensure that the integrity of heritage properties is conserved through the land development process.

These amendments were adopted to achieve consistency and provide improved standards for Heritage Impact Statements. Currently, only large rooftop additions on registered heritage buildings require a Heritage Impact Statement, and only in one area of the municipality.

Finally, something I’ve been advocating for some time has been implemented.  HRM has introduced introducing two zones for the overnight winter parking ban, Central and Non-Central.

This means District 7 is in Zone 1, which means when there is snow at my mother-in-law’s in Hammond’s Plains, they can have a parking ban, but if there is none here in Peninsula South (which is often the case) there is no ban here.  It also means when we have heavy snow the parking ban can stay in place a few extra days in the core without having to put the ban in place for all of HRM.

And stay up to date on the winter parking ban by signing up for hfxALERT:  http://halifax.ca/hfxalert
hfxALERT will send urgent and non-urgent notifications from Halifax Regional Police, Halifax Fire & Emergency’s Emergency Management Division, as well as municipal winter parking ban notices.

Public Meetings, Hearings & Engagement

Shape Your City Survey: Share your thoughts on Short-Term Rentals
Until December 17 | Online
Share your thoughts on proposed regulations for Short-Term Rentals (like Airbnb or VRBO) in the municipality by filling out a survey.  The survey will be available until December 17. Click the link to learn about the project and take the survey: https://www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/short-term-rentals

Halifax Regional Council – Halifax City Hall, Council Chambers
If you want to read reports coming to Regional Council (posted mid-day Friday prior to the Tuesday meeting) or to check the agenda. Upcoming meetings:

  • Tuesday, January 11, 1 pm
  • Tuesday, January 25, 9:30 am

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

Budget Committee – Halifax City Hall, Council Chambers
If you want to read reports coming to Budget (posted mid-day Friday prior to the Tuesday meeting) or to check the agenda. Upcoming meetings:

  • Friday, January 28, 10 am
  • Wednesday, February 2, 10 am
  • Friday, February 4, 10 am

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

Halifax & West Community Council – virtual meetings
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.

  • Tuesday January 18, 6 pm

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

Regional Centre Community Council – virtual or face to face meeting
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.

  • Wednesday, January 26, 6pm

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

Public hearings
Public hearings are published 2-3 weeks before they take place. There are no public hearings posted at this time. A list of upcoming hearings can be found here: https://www.halifax.ca/business/planning-development/public-hearings

Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Council
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. Upcoming meetings:

  • December 13, 4:00pm if required, possibly face to face

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

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.

Roadworks Update

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

  • SOUTH ST from SOUTH PARK ST to QUEEN ST, starting on 2022-01-10
  • BARRINGTON ST from GEORGE ST to PRINCE ST, starting on 2022-01-10
  • SUMMER ST from BELL RD to VETERANS MEMORIAL LANE, starting on 2022-01-15
  • NORTH PARK ST from COGSWELL ST to CORNWALLIS ST, starting on 2022-01-13

You can find out road closure details on the HRM Roadworks map:

Coronavirus Update #50

This update was posted on the afternoon of January 10, 2022. The situation is evolving rapidly. Please check the CanadaNova Scotia, and Halifax websites for the most up-to-date information.

You can also check out my COVID-19 resources,with information on current Government ResponseIndividuals & FamiliesBusiness as well as Links to Resources including key social media to follow.

Impact of COVID-19 on municipal service standards
Due to resourcing challenges as a result of the impacts of COVID-19, including employee exposures and provincially mandated self-isolation and testing requirements, service standards are expected to be impacted. This includes Halifax Transit, solid waste collection, snow clearing efforts, some recreation centers, and other municipal operations. For the most up-to-date information on municipal impacts as a result of COVID-19, visit halifax.ca.

Sick Leave Program Launch: PROVINCIAL
The Nova Scotia Paid Sick Leave Program will launch Monday, January 10, and is retroactive to December 20, 2021. The program is for Nova Scotians who need to miss work because of COVID-19, whether to get a vaccine shot or COVID-19 test, or isolate while waiting for a test or test results. www.novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20211222003

Sector Impact Support Program: PROVINCIAL
Starting sometime in January, 2022
The Sector Impact Support Program provides a one-time grant of up to $7,500 to help small business owners that have been impacted by the new province-wide public health restrictions. Eligible businesses receive a one-time grant based on gross payroll cost or gross revenue in November 2021. www.novascotia.ca/coronavirus/sector-impact-support-program/

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit: FEDERAL
The CRSB is extended until May 7, 2022. The maximum number of weeks you can apply for also increases to 6 weeks. You can apply retroactively for periods 61 to 63 until February 16, 2022 if you are eligible. The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-sickness-benefit.html

Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB): FEDERAL – EXPANDED
The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) gives temporary income support to employed and self-employed people who cannot work due to a COVID-19 lockdown. The CWLB is only available when a COVID-19 lockdown order is designated for your region.
If you are eligible for the CWLB, you can receive $300 ($270 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period. You may apply for any weeks your region is eligible between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022. www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/worker-lockdown-benefit.html

COVID-19 rent and property expense support for businesses: FEDERAL – CHANGES
Expand the Local Lockdown Program to include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 percent or more; and reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25 percent. Eligible employers will receive wage and rent subsidies from 25 percent up to a maximum of 75 percent, depending on their degree of revenue loss. The 12-month revenue decline test continues to not be required in order to access this support.

As a business, non-profit organization, or charity in Canada that has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your commercial rent or property expenses. Depending on the period you are applying for, you may be eligible to claim your commercial rent or property expenses through one of the following:

  • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) – Rent Effective: October 24, 2021, to May 7, 2022
  • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) – Rent Effective: October 24, 2021, to May 7, 2022


Community Events and Info

Emera Oval is open
Cogswell Street, Halifax Common

The Emera Oval is now open for the winter season, weather permitting.  The maximum capacity will be 230 participants, per skate time. Access will be provided on a first-come-first-serve basis until the maximum capacity has been reached.  Residents must show full proof of COVID-19 vaccination and government issued photo identification, practice physical distancing, as well as wear a mask at all times including on the ice and in the Oval Pavilion.  Equipment rentals, including skates and helmets, will not be available at this time, therefore, residents will be required to bring their own equipment. CSA-approved multi-impact hockey helmets are mandatory for children 12 years of age and under however, all skaters are encouraged to wear a helmet, for their own safety.  View the latest information and schedule at halifax.ca/skateHRM.

Senior Snow Removal Program
Accepting Applications now
Removing snow around your property can be a challenging – or even impossible – task for many people. There is help available: the Halifax Regional Municipality provides an annual contribution of $400,000 in support of the YMCA for its Snow Removal Program for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities. To find out more about this program and to apply, please call the YMCA at 902.483.3678 or visit the YMCA online: https://ymcahfx.ca/community-initiatives/ymca-senior-snow-removal/

Community Grants Program Preapplication inquires welcome
Deadline March 31, 2022 | Online
HRM’s Community Grams Program offers funding for community projects led by registered, non-profit organizations and charities throughout the Halifax region. There are project grants of up to $5,000 and capital grants of up to $25,000. A wide variety of projects are eligible for the grants such as publishing maps or guidebooks, creating interpretive panels, buying safety equipment, or renovating a building for community use. While you cannot apply yet for 2022, you can contact the Grants office for general inquiries at this time: NonProfitGrants@halifax.ca. Applications will be accepted starting in January and up until March 31, 2022.

Applications Open for Heating Assistance Rebate Program
Open Now to March 31, 2022
Help with home heating costs is available for Nova Scotians living on low incomes. Applications for the Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP) open today, October 18, for the 2021-22 heating season. The annual program provides a rebate of up to $200 to low-income Nova Scotians who pay for their own heat. The income threshold to qualify for the program is $29,000 for single-income households and $44,000 for family-income households. Applications are available at http://www.novascotia.ca/heatinghelp and through Access Nova Scotia, Community Services and MLA offices.
Additional Resources:


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,

Call my office
Call my office for assistance with your municipal issues. Please try 311 first, and when you call 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

Reach out to me
I’m always available to help residents. Email is always better than a phone call, as I am often in meetings and much of the time I cannot answer the phone. If Liam or 311 cannot assist you, please email me at waye.mason@halifax.ca or call 902.430.7822