In this issue
My Council Update includes info on Remembrance Day, more info on the province’s ill-advised Bill 225 and the potential for noise impact on you and your neighbours, volunteer awards, Square Roots needs volunteers, and the Dragon of Miller Lake.
Public Meetings and Hearings has info on upcoming council meetings. Roadworks has a few updates though construction is winding down for the season. Community Events contains some upcoming events, including sign up opportunities for virtual fine arts programming for school-age youth through HRCE, the upcoming Accessibility Advisory Town Hall, the HRM Volunteer Conference, and a number of grant deadlines for income-challenged folks and not-for-profits that are coming up.
Friday is the first relatively normal Remembrance Day since 2019, so I wanted to share an update on the various memorials. It is best to arrive by 10:30 am at most memorials.
- Grand Parade – the municipal Cenotaph is the site of the Province’s largest memorial service, organized by the Royal Canadian Legion. Normally the Mayor, Lieutenant Governor, and municipal, provincial and Federal elected officials attend. There will be a fly-past of a Cyclone helicopter over Grand Parade around 11:11 am. The Remembrance Day ceremony will consist of a military parade at Grand Parade, and the event will also include the participation of the 1st Field Regiment firing a 21-gun salute from Citadel Hill.
- Halifax Memorial – better known as Sailor’s Memorial in Point Pleasant Park, is the Royal Canadian Navy’s memorial service. I will be attending on behalf of the Municipality and laying a wreath.
- Royal Artillery Park – there is always a small ceremony at the military site at the foot of the Citadel on Sackville Street.
- Province House – there is a ceremony at the monument on the north side of the grounds of Province House. Princess Louise Fusiliers will parade to the site from the Maritime Museum and be in attendance at the memorial.
Be aware that there will be a number of parades around the municipality Friday morning, including the Parade of the Princess Louise Fusiliers downtown. Starting around 10 am the parade will begin at the Maritime Museum, proceed north on Lower Water Street, west on George Street and then south on Hollis Street where they will stop for the ceremony. Following the ceremony, the parade will proceed south on Hollis Street, then turn east on Prince Street before ending on Lower Water Street. For more information on other parades click here: https://www.halifax.ca/home/news/traffic-delays-remembrance-day
As Remembrance Day is a statutory holiday in Nova Scotia you can expect reduced services Friday, more info here: https://www.halifax.ca/home/news/municipal-service-level-adjustments-remembrance-day-2021
Finally, a reminder that COVID is not over, we are now “living with covid” and you should expect a number of older and vulnerable people will be attending this year’s ceremony. I will be wearing a mask most of the time, especially respecting the choice of folks wearing masks and doing the same when speaking to them. Please consider doing the same.
I wanted to update you on the unfortunate and ill-advised decision of the government of Nova Scotia to pass a Bill 225 to give the Minister the power to veto HRM by-laws as related to construction.
I will not recap the argument that Dr Taylor and I made against the Bill, if you have not had a chance, I would ask you to read the opinion piece that was published in the Herald on Saturday. https://www.saltwire.com/halifax/opinion/local-perspectives/waye-mason-zack-taylor-let-halifax-regional-municipality-do-its-job-100787320/
I do want to write and clear up misconceptions and untruths being shared about the intent of N-200 By-Law itself.
First – why did HRM change the noise bylaw?
Until about a decade ago, most construction in HRM was happening in greenfield subdivisions or industrial parks.
This construction was happening on large lots, where buildings are spaced far apart, and where often there are few or no people living nearby. The old noise by-law allowed construction 7 days a week, which was not a concern for this kind of construction.
What has changed over the last ten years is that construction has shifted more and more to the core of the city where people live.
As the Councillor that represents the District of HRM with the most construction, I well know the impacts of construction on residents.
I have one resident who lives near Pepperell and Preston, who has experienced the construction of the Ted on Quinpool, and then the first two of three phases of the Ben’s Bread site. Over the next five years, construction of the final phase, and construction of the Lawen site on the Mcdonald’s will begin. This resident will have construction within 75 meters of her home for 10-12 years.
Second – What did HRM do?
HRM looked around Canada and looked to see what other fast-growing cities do for managing noise. You can read the staff report here: https://cdn.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/220823rc1521.pdf
We saw that London, Ontario ends construction at 6 p.m., Toronto and Victoria at 7 p.m., and Ottawa and Vancouver at 8 p.m.
We learned that some cities do not allow any construction on Sundays or holidays (Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto, Gatineau).
HRM decided to take a more moderate path – while we chose to restrict rock breaking to Monday to Friday, we decided to allow construction to continue at weekends. We decided to end construction at 8 pm rather than 9:30 pm.
HRM decided to make some changes that would still give us one of the most permissive noise bylaw regimes in Canada.
There are two other facts that have been missed or ignored by the government in relation to the new noise bylaw.
- The new bylaw creates a streamlined staff approval for noise bylaw exemptions for specific situations. This means if a builder is building something that is time critical, that has a specific issue (the crane removal will take 24 hours) or the construction is in a greenfield subdivision or industrial park, they can work 24 hours a day if they wish.
- The bylaw continues to evolve in response to feedback from the industry. Days after it was adopted I had a meeting with Peter Poley and Alex Halaf from the Urban Development Institute. They raised a serious concern about the impact of the new 8 pm stop time on the ability to complete concrete curing. Concrete curing is a chemical process that cannot be stopped once started, and the length is impacted by temperature and humidity. They asked that it be amended so curing could continue to 9:30 pm. I made a proposal to amend that was unanimously passed by Halifax Regional Council at the very next Council meeting.
Municipalities are tasked to manage communities and regulate land use and development. It has been bizarre and frustrating to be put in a situation where the government is critical of us doing those jobs.
That said, everything must evolve and grow. We know this, but all we ask is that the government consult FIRST and solicit input from us, as the subject matter experts, and as required by the HRM Charter, MGA, and NSFM Acts.
Some things need to change, but the best results for our residents can only be achieved when we work together in a spirit of genuine collaboration, consultation and fair dealing.
Doing things the way they have been done this last year creates unnecessary division and holds us back. I continue to hope for better from the provincial government in the future.
Minister Lohr is attending Regional Council tomorrow at 3:30 pm and I hope we have a good discussion about the problems HRM has with the Province’s heavy-handed approach.
Do you know an outstanding volunteer who gives back to our community? You can give them the recognition they deserve! Each year, Halifax Regional Municipality recognizes the extraordinary contributions of individuals and groups who volunteer in our communities by presenting them with volunteer awards.
Residents can now nominate volunteers in three different categories: adult, youth (ages 13-19) and community group. Successful nominees will be notified in March 2023. An awards ceremony and banquet with Mayor Mike Savage and Regional Council will coincide with National Volunteer Week (April 16th – 22nd, 2023).
Nomination forms and detailed nomination criteria are available now: www.halifax.ca/volunteerawards
I wanted to share some information about the amazing Square Roots folks in Fairview. The poster above shows dates and times when the public can purchase produce bundles from Square Roots Fairview/Clayton Park for the month of November.
Purchasing veggie bundles helps support local farmers, benefit the environment and continue to assist Square Roots’ first goal to ensure they can continue to provide FREE fresh produce bundles for families in need. Purchasing Link: https://forms.gle/cU1uinVT6qLh2NfM7 Free Bundle Link: https://forms.gle/M1oGhn1yLFxAMxWy5
Most importantly, as the social crisis deepens in Nova Scotia, Square Roots is seeing more and more demand for the delivery of produce to those in need all over the peninsula. They are looking for Volunteer Community Support so they can continue delivering bundles to those unable to come to pick up their produce. Ideally, folks in District 7 would volunteer to go up to Fairview, pick up produce and deliver it in our neighbourhood. For more info click on the links below:
November 25/26th – Meal Kit Weekend
Finally, I cannot remember a time when I came around the corner driving past Miller Lake heading to Truro or the airport and I didn’t look for the Dragon of Miller Lake. What folks may not know is the original log that looked sort of like a dragon is long gone, and what had been there for some time was a float.
Apparently, it needs replacement again, and John Robidoux is raising money to pay for wood, paint, supplies, a mooring permit and gps chips to carve, paint and (re)install a dragon in Millers Lake. I donated today, and I hope you consider a small donation as well. https://www.gofundme.com/f/build-and-install-a-dragon-in-millers-lake
Thanks, stay safe, be kind,
Public Meetings, Hearings & Engagement
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, November 8th, 10 am
- Tuesday, November 22th, 10 am
Halifax & West Community Council – Halifax City Hall, Council Chambers
Community Council meets on Tuesday evenings alternating with Regional Council. Please check the webpage here for agendas (usually available a week before the meeting), locations, and times.
- Tuesday, November 15, 6 pm (if required)
Regional Centre Community Council – Harbour East Marine Drive Room, Alderney Landing
Community Council meets on Tuesday evenings alternating with Regional Council. Please check the webpage here for agendas (usually available a week before the meeting), locations, and times.
- Wednesday, November 23, 6 pm (if required)
Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee & Design Advisory Committee
The Nova Scotia government has suspended the meeting of planning advisory committees and most forms of public engagement on planning for three years, ending April 2025.
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.
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
The following street closures or sidewalk disruptions have recently been added to the RoadWorks map
- QUINPOOL RD from OXFORD ST to PRESTON ST, starting on 2022-11-07 | View in RoadWorks Map
- PINE HILL DR from MARINE DR to DINGLE RD, starting on 2022-11-04 | View in RoadWorks Map
- BLOWERS ST from GRAFTON ST to BARRINGTON ST, starting on 2022-11-09 | View in RoadWorks Map
- POINT PLEASANT DR from TOWER RD to FRANCKLYN ST, starting on 2022-11-03 | View in RoadWorks Map
- YORK ST from OXFORD ST to PRESTON ST, starting on 2022-11-01 | View in RoadWorks Map
- DALHOUSIE ST from SOUTH ST to BEAUFORT AVE, starting on 2022-11-05 | View in RoadWorks Map
- BEDFORD ROW from GEORGE ST to PRINCE ST, starting on 2022-10-26 | View in RoadWorks Map
- SOUTH ST from ROCKCLIFFE ST to END, starting on 2022-11-01 | View in RoadWorks Map
- UPPER WATER ST from DUKE ST to RAMP COGS-BU N/B RAMP, starting on 2022-10-28 | View in RoadWorks Map
- TOWER RD from SOUTH ST to TOWER TERR, starting on 2022-11-01 | View in RoadWorks Map
You can find out road closure details on the HRM Roadworks map:https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/streets-siewalks/RoadWorks
Cogswell Construction Project
This major construction project, one of the biggest HRM has ever undertaken, is well underway. Construction will take three years. More info can be found here: https://www.halifax.ca/about-halifax/regional-community-planning/construction-projects/cogswell-district-redevelopment
Jubilee Road CN Bridge
CN and HRM are coordinating the rehabilitation of this bridge, which has been delayed until 2023.
Community Events and Info
Fall 2022 Fine Arts HRCE-Wide Virtual Programming for Students
Starting Nov 7 (today) and 8 | Online
Programs include Voice Acting (Gr 5-8), Comic Book Workshop (Gr 5-8) , Africentric Arts Experience (Gr 9-12) and Poetry and Spoken Word (Gr 7-9). All programs can be accessed here: https://sites.google.com/gnspes.ca/hrafinearts/2022-fall-virtual-programming
Accessibility Advisory Committee Town Hall
Thursday, Nov. 17 6:30 – 8:30 p.m | Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library OR join online.
Residents are invited to the Accessibility Advisory Committee’s Annual Town Hall. The Town Hall is an opportunity the Halifax Regional Municipality to provide updates to the community on current accessibility initiatives at the municipal level and receive questions, feedback, and input from residents. This year’s Town Hall will be taking place in a hybrid fashion, with multiple ways for residents to participate:
- Attend the in-person event at Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library
- Join the virtual event in Zoom and submit questions live by registering in advance
- Watch the live stream on YouTube
HRM’s Annual Volunteer Conference
November 18th | DoubleTree by Hilton, 101 Wyse Rd
The conference is an opportunity for volunteers to connect, celebrate, and learn relevant skills to build stronger volunteer capacity throughout the municipality. Delegates representing a variety of organizations and causes will participate in two training workshops and networking activities and enjoy a keynote speech and seated meal. This year’s workshops will cover topics like grant opportunities, diversity and inclusion in the volunteer sector, collaboration as power, connecting with youth, marketing your organization, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and retention, community event planning, engaging your community, healthy board practices, rural perspectives in volunteerism, and improving accessibility in the volunteer sector. Learn more and register at halifax.ca/volunteerconference
Tax Relief for Non-Profit Organizations Program
Deadline November 30 | Apply Online
HRM’s Tax Relief for Non-Profit Organizations Program is now open for application to be considered in next year’s program (2023). Be sure to apply by the deadline of Wednesday, November 30th, 2022. This program can help some non-profit organizations reduce their annual property tax under Administrative Order 2014-001-ADM the Tax Relief for Non-Profit Organizations Program. Learn more about eligibility and find the application form online at the bottom of this webpage: https://www.halifax.ca/business/doing-business-halifax/tax-relief-non-profit-organizations Applications can be mailed (see the address on the webpage noted above), e-mailed, or dropped off at any HRM Customer Service Centre. Questions? Please reach out to the program’s designated email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications Open for Heating Assistance Rebate Program
Open Now to March 31, 2023 | Online
Help with home heating costs is now available for Nova Scotians living on low incomes. Applications for the Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP) open today, October 17, for the 2022-23 heating season.
The annual program provides a rebate of up to $200 to eligible low-income Nova Scotians who pay for their own heat.
“We know that heating costs can be a financial strain for Nova Scotians, especially those with a low income,” said Colton LeBlanc, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services. “The Heating Assistance Rebate Program is once again here to help with home heating costs. We would encourage all eligible Nova Scotians to take advantage of the program and apply.” The income threshold to qualify for the program is $29,000 for single-income households and $44,000 for family-income households. https://beta.novascotia.ca/apply-heating-assistance-rebate-heating-assistance-rebate-program
2023 HRM Volunteer Award nominations are now open
Deadline Friday, January 6, 2023, | Online
Do you know an outstanding volunteer who gives back to your community? You can give them the recognition they deserve! Nominate an adult, youth, or group for the 2023 HRM Volunteer Awards. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 The HRM Volunteer Awards is an annual event that puts a spotlight on residents who have made a difference in their community by donating their time and skills to various programs and services. Successful nominees will be notified in March and will be invited to attend an awards ceremony during National Volunteer Week, taking place from April 16 to April 22, 2023. Let’s show appreciation for the work that volunteers do to help build stronger, healthier, and more supportive communities. Thank you, volunteers! Nomination forms and detailed nomination criteria are available now: www.halifax.ca/volunteerawards
HRM YMCA Senior Snow Removal Program
Applications Open Now
The snow removal program is available to seniors (65 years of age or older) and persons with disabilities in the Halifax region who also meet the criteria below. The program applies to residential properties only – commercial properties are ineligible. Participants must reside in a single dwelling home which is owned or rented. The total gross household income of all people living on the premises must not exceed $32,000 The program is NOT available to landlords. https://ymcahfx.ca/communityymca/ymca-senior-snow-removal/
Expanded Seniors Care Grant Open for Applications
Older Nova Scotians can now apply for grants to help with the cost of household chores, healthcare services and home heating. The Seniors Care Grant program provides up to $500 to help support eligible seniors to live well at home. People applying for the grant are also able to apply for a new, one-time grant of $250 to help with heating costs. The Seniors Care Grant helps cover the costs of services such as snow removal, small repairs, lawn care, transportation, and grocery and medication delivery. The list of eligible expenses has been expanded this year to include phone and internet costs, and health services like eye exams, dental work, mental health supports, physical therapy and foot care. The new $250 home heating grant is available to eligible Nova Scotians 65 and older, including people who have already received money through the Seniors Care Grant or Heating Assistance Rebate Program in the past year. The grant is available for the cost of furnace oil, natural gas, propane, firewood, wood pellets and electricity.
More information about the grants, including how to apply, who is eligible and eligible services is available:
— at the program website: https://beta.novascotia.ca/apply-help-household-healthcare-and-home-heating-costs-seniors-care-grant
— by email: email@example.com
— by calling toll-free: 1-800-670-4357.
Monday and Thursday Mornings | Halifax Central Library, Spring Garden Road
Welcome Housing hosts Housing Clinics for those experiencing housing precarity every Monday and Thursday in June from 9-12 am, except on June 16
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 to residents. More info here: https://www.halifax.ca/home/311
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. Vicki Palmeter is my Constituency Coordinator. Vicki can be reached by email at Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 902-490-2012.
Call or email 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 Victoria or 311 cannot assist you, please email me at email@example.com or call 902.430.7822