African Heritage month, planned 2023/24 paving and construction, short-term rental registration, rental registration, more

In this issue

My Council Update includes information on African Heritage month, skating oval alternatives, planned 2023/24 Roads, Sidewalks and bike lane paving and construction for District 7.  Housing Update #11 has some information about the upcoming public hearing on short-term rental registration, and information about the proposed rental registration and minimum standards updates.

Public Meetings and Hearings has info on meetings starting in 2023. Roadworks has a few updates.  Community Events & Information has some new youth-oriented events, including a playwriting camp at Halifax West that starts tomorrow (Tuesday)

Councillor Update

Hello all,

It’s been a busy time for me between budget meetings all day two or three times a week, Council and committee meetings, and going to Ottawa for Green Municipal Fund and the Sustainable Communities Conference, I’m a couple of weeks behind getting out a new newsletter.  My apologies.

While we are over halfway through February, I want to recognize that February marks African Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the legacy, achievements and contributions of African Nova Scotians – past, present and future.

The 2023 provincial theme, Seas of Struggle – African Peoples from Shore to Shore, outlines the struggles people of African descent faced from the shores of Africa to the shores of Nova Scotia. Recognizing that the one thing that has remained constant in our history is the Atlantic Ocean. In the long-standing history of people of African descent in the development of Canada, the sea has played a vital role. This theme explores the struggle and adversity that was overcome. It also examines the effects of slavery and seafaring on African Nova Scotians.

The theme also aligns with the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (DPAD) 2015-2024. The goal of DPAD is to strengthen global cooperation in support of people of African descent and increase awareness and the passage towards presence in all aspects of society.   For more information on HRM and African Heritage Month, please visit

The skating Oval is closed to the public, and tentatively scheduled to re-open on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, while Halifax hosts long-track speed skating events as part of the Prince Edward Island 2023 Canada Winter Games.  Residents are invited to attend speed skating events and cheer on athletes from across Canada.

While the Oval is closed, residents are encouraged to explore the following municipal facilities that offer free or low-cost public skates:

  • LeBrun Arena (36 Holland Avenue, Bedford)
  • Halifax Forum (2901 Windsor Street, Halifax)
  • HRM 4-Pad (61 Gary Martin Drive, Bedford)
  • RBC Centre (259 Commodore Drive, Dartmouth)
  • Sackville Sports Stadium (409 Glendale Drive, Lower Sackville)
  • Spryfield Lions Rink (111 Drysdale Road, Halifax)
  • Zatzman Sportsplex (110 Wyse Road, Dartmouth)
  • Cole Harbour Place (41 Forest Hills Parkway, Dartmouth)
  • St. Margaret’s Centre Arena (12 Westwood Blvd, Upper Tantallon)
  • Centennial Arena (27 Vimy Avenue, Halifax)

I have details for the 2023/24 Roads, Sidewalks and bike lane paving and construction for District 7.  This list (which still requires Council’s final approval) includes new projects and any carryover work from 2022/23. As a note, some of the crack sealing and street planer patching projects may require additional assessment and that part of the list could change.

Due to increased estimates caused by inflation, there is one street listed in the Draft Budget Book that has been reduced in scope in District 7. The limits of the rehabilitation on Lemarchant Street were originally planned from South to Watt, however, they have been reduced from Coburg to Watt to help balance the Street Recapitalization Budget. The segment from Coburg to Watt in front of SJAM/formerly Le Marchant school is in the worst condition. The remaining limits will be rehabilitated in a future year. Also, upon further assessment, we will not be proceeding with the sidewalk renewal on Atlantic Street (Bridges to Tower (S)).

Once the projects are approved by Council staff will make every effort to design, tender, and construct in 2023. However, unforeseen circumstances may arise which could impact the scheduling of the project, and potentially cause delays. I will share any changes or delays as they become known.

District 7 – 2023/24 Planned Work

Street Recapitalization
Blenheim Terr – South to End
Lemarchant St – Watt to Coburg (Traffic Calming Reinstatement)
South St – Bridge to Cromwell

Asphalt Overlays
Atlantic St – South Bland to Tower
Cedar St – Robie to Preston (Traffic Calming Reinstatement)
Inglis St – Robie to Beaufort (Integrated Traffic Calming)
South Bland St – Atlantic to Inglis (Integrated Traffic Calming)

Sidewalk Renewals
Carlton St – Spring Garden to Cemetery (E)
Cedar St – Preston to Chestnut (Both Sides)
South St – Rockcliffe to Cromwell (S)

Retaining Walls
Rockcliffe St South Wall

Jubilee Rd CN Bridge (Carryover, Rehabilitation)

Planer Patching
Coburg Rd – Henry to Oxford

Proposed Crack Sealing
Lilac St – Payzant to Coburg (Carryover)
Monastery Lane – Quinpool to Allan
Payzant Ave – Larch to Chestnut (Carryover)
Spring Garden Rd – Robie to Summer (Carryover)
Victoria Rd – Inglis to Queen

Cut from Program since Draft Budget
Atlantic St – Bridges to Tower (S) (Sidewalk Renewal)
Lemarchant St – South to Coburg (Street Recapitalization)

This list does not include traffic calming, such as speed humps, or new signals, such as rapid flashing beacons.

That’s all for now,


Housing Update #11

I wanted to share with you some details of the proposed short-term rental bylaw, rental registry, and M-200 minimum standards bylaw update, and where we are at in the process.


Halifax Regional Council will hold a public hearing on Short Term Rental regulation on Tuesday, February 21, at 6pm.  The public is welcome to attend, and speak. More on how to participate here:

Provincial amendments to the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act (TARA) regulations come into effect April 1, 2023, so short-term rental (AirB&B, VRBO) owners are already required to register before the summer season.

As a side note, the province has also allowed municipalities to collect the marketing levy on rentals of 1-20 beds, including STRs, which used to be exempt.  Not sure when this is coming (requires another bylaw change).

The proposed HRM Bylaw would come into effect on April 1, and would allow:

  1. Whole Home STRs in Residential Zones: Whole home STRs will only be permitted in residential zones where it is the primary residence of the host, ie rent your home as an STR when you are away.
  2. Whole Home Commercial STRs: Zones that already permit tourist accommodations such as hotels or motels will be updated to include STRs.  Most rural areas allow commercial tourist use (see below)
  3. Short-Term Bedroom Rentals: Short-Term Bedroom Rentals will be permitted in both residential zones and zones that allow for commercial STRs (lodging, bed and breakfast style accommodation)

The existing rules related to parking, bedroom limits, and maximum signage requirements for bed and breakfasts required in that zone will continue to apply to STRs.

Rural zones are generally permissive of tourist accommodations and allow “Commercial Accommodation Use” and “Tourist Accommodation” use.  This will not change and STRs will be allowed.

Seasonal cottages and other types of seasonal properties may be rented as STRs. Cottages are generally occupied only a couple of weeks a year or are not winterized, meaning they cannot be offered as long-term rentals.

There have also been increases in requests for allowing non-permanent structures such as yurts, trailers, or tents on residential properties as a form of tourist accommodation in rural communities.  Before considering such uses, impacts on neighbourhoods/communities must be considered.

The full report on STR regulation is here:


I think the scope and intent of the proposed registry are not well understood, and I certainly feel some folks in the industry have been exaggerating or misleading in that regard.

Municipalities are created by the province, and the powers that municipalities have (and do not have) are different in every province.  What HRM can do is outlined in the Halifax Regional Municipal Charter which is an act of the Nova Scotia Legislature.

Generally, in Nova Scotia municipalities like HRM are responsible for buildings – making sure they are safe, and saying where they can be built – and the Province is responsible for tenancy, rents, social programs, and social housing. So it makes sense for HRM to have a rental registry (not a landlord registry) and it would make no sense for HRM to have a tenant registry.  Buildings are HRM.  Tenancy is NS. more info here.

On April 30th 2019, Council directed that a rental registry program be created.  While the rental registry was to be considered by April 2020, COVID resulted in considerable delay in completing this work.

Contingent on the adoption of By-law R-400, all rental housing properties in HRM would have been registered. A grace period of approximately 9.5 months (April 1, 2024) will be given to allow property owners to register, however, after that time, rental housing that is not registered will be considered in violation and those property owners will be subject to a fine.

R-400 is intended to create:

  1. A Building Registry – a mandatory registration of all residential rental accommodations.
  2. Strategic Inspection and Regulation – inspections using evidence-based decision-making to target high-risk properties
  3. Safety Requirements – establish enhanced safety regulations that are applied based on risk/building classification.
  4. Community Integration and Education – custom rules applied to buildings, depending on category & a program and educational package designed to inform tenants of their rights and responsibilities including their impact on the surrounding community
  5. Accountability – enhance accountability to property owners through penalties.

R-400 will require property owners to submit the following information upon registration through an online form, for which NO FEE WILL BE CHARGED:

  • address of the property;
  • contact information of the owner;
  • information regarding the property management operator;
  • description of the rental property;
  • proof of insurance;
  • any fee prescribed by Administrative Order 15; and
  • any additional information required by the Registrar to assist in registering the rental housing.

Beyond this information, rental property owners will be required to have, and keep current, a Maintenance Plan with respect to the ongoing compliance of the building with By-law M-200 Respecting Standards for Residential Occupancies. Maintenance plans must be made available to the Municipality upon request.

The specific changes to the existing M200 Minimum Standards bylaw are driven by real-world experience with bad landlords and are felt to be needed to provide even more clarity to make it easier to ticket and successful convict these types of activities. These are:

  • working locks that are operable from the inside.
  • handrails capable of safely sustaining the load to which it may normally be subjected.
  • kitchen and bathroom sink drains are free from obstruction.
  • kitchen, including all cabinetry, fixtures and fittings provided, shall be maintained free from defective and missing components.
  • windows and doors shall be protected from exposure to precipitation and windows that open shall be equipped with screens.
  • Common spaces shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
  • drier ducts cleaned every 12 months (bylaw currently reads annually)
  • a record that heating equipment is inspected and maintained.
  • fire extinguishers and emergency lighting shall be maintained in good repair and tested monthly by creating a simulated power loss.
  • all smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms required to be installed in the suites are installed, and correctly located, in the suites

Proposed R-400 bylaw and M-200 amendments report here:

Final note – M-200 Minimum Standards bylaw already exists, and all landlords have to comply with it.  This is a 19-page document that lays out what needs to be done to keep a property safe for tenants.  It can be found here –

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, February 21, 1 pm
  • Tuesday, March 7, 10 am
  • Tuesday, March 21, 10 am

Agendas here:

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

  • Wednesday, February 22 10 am
  • Wednesday, March 1 10 am
  • Friday, March 3 10 am
  • Wednesday, March 8 10 am (if required)
  • Friday, March 10 10 am (if required)

Agendas here:

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, February 28, 6 pm
  • Tuesday, March 27, 6 pm (if required)

Agenda here –

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, March 22, 6 pm (if required)

Agenda here –

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
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:

Roadworks Update

Map of construction in District 7

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

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

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:

Jubilee Road CN Bridge
CN and HRM are coordinating the rehabilitation of this bridge, which has been delayed until 2023.

Community Events and Info

Learn and create a short collective play
Starting Tuesday, February 21 | Halifax West High School 
Students in Grades 9-12 across HRCE – Ever wanted to create your own play? Drama therapist & former theatre professor Samar Kattan (U of Lebanon), in collaboration with HRA Drama & Dance Specialist Aren Morris, bring you Halifax Regional Arts first Devised Theatre Intensive. With the ability to facilitate in English, French and Arabic, Samar & Aren are excited to see what we might create together. Join us Tuesdays 6:30-8 pm Feb 21-April 18 at Halifax West High School to create a short collective play on a topic chosen by the group.  Register for this FREE Performing Arts opportunity here:  Please reach out to Aren Morris at if you have questions/ concerns.

NS Youth Orchestra with Symphony Nova Scotia features the works of Cris Derkson and William Grant Still
Sunday, February 26 7:30 | Rebecca Cohn Auditorium

And then, on Sunday, February 26 at 7:30 pm, at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, we feature the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra onstage with the Symphony’s professional musicians. SNS Music Director Holly Mathieson will conduct this over 80-person orchestra in diverse works including compositions from Cree composer Cris Derkson and African-American composer William Grant Still. We’re also thrilled to premiere a new film by partner KV265 that will accompany John Estacio’s Moontides. This is an ideal opportunity for children and youth to see “themselves” on stage.

Try Tennis
Saturday March 11 3-4pm | Sobeys Atlantic Tennis Centre

Free tennis for girls 9-10 years old, limited space available- sign up early!  Email to register –

Nominations for Halifax Urban Design Awards
March 10, 2023 | Online

The municipality is calling for submissions to the Urban Design Awards – a celebration of urban design excellence in the Halifax region.  To qualify for an award, projects must have been completed after January 1, 2018, and meet one of the nine following awards categories (each with different eligibility requirements for award selection):

  • Urban Design Plans
  • Urban Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture and Civic Design Projects
  • Urban Elements
  • Housing Solutions
  • Community Connections and Initiatives
  • Heritage Restoration Projects
  • Heritage Adaptive Re-use Projects
  • Student Projects

The submission fee is $345 (including taxes) but is waived for non-profit and student projects. A panel of four independent jurors will evaluate the submissions, and an awards ceremony will take place on Monday, June 26, 2023, at the Halifax Central Library.  For more information or to submit an application, please visit the website ( ) or contact The submission deadline is March 10, 2023.

HRM Community Grants Program
Open now, closes March 31, 2023 | Online

The program provides annual cash grants to registered non-profit organizations and charities located throughout the region. There are two types of grants: a project grant of up to $5,000 OR a capital grant of up to $25,000. Applicants should review the Program Guidebook prior to submitting an application, for more information please check out the website:

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.

Community Gardens
Deadline April 30, 2023 | Online

Interested in creating a community garden? Submit your application by March 30, 2023. Find program information and application forms here:

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.

Expanded Seniors Care Grant Open for Applications
Available Now 
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:
— by email:
— by calling toll-free: 1-800-670-4357.

Housing Clinic
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:

Call my office
Call my office for assistance with your municipal issues. Please try 311 first, and when you call the office have your 311 reference number ready. Vicki Palmeter is my Constituency Coordinator. Vicki can be reached by email at 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 or call 902.430.7822.