WORDS – my five minutes on the Skye proposal

Mr Mayor I am pleased move this motion and support staff’s recommendation that council not move to first reading. As staff just outlined there are five amendments that would be required to allow this proposal to go forward. The discussion today is about trust. Does council trust that we got it right when we passed the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy, the Halifax MPS, the Downtown Halifax Secondary MPS, and the Downtown Halifax land use bylaw, none of which are more read more


Waye Mason Announces Bid for HRM Council

Hello. My name is Waye Mason, and I hope that on October 20th, 2012 you will vote for me for Councillor, District 7, Peninsula South Downtown. I’ve been a resident of District 7 for almost twenty years, and I have been involved in issues in our region & our district throughout this time. To learn more about me, please visit my bio page. District 7 and HRM needs a councillor who will be able to achieve the change that our read more


OPENFILE: St Pat’s decision reveals ethics deficit at HRM

Tuesday, HRM Council voted in a 13 to 9 vote to once again confirm the sale of the St Patrick’s Alexandra school property to the Jono developments. Staff had prepared a report, as requested, outlining options regarding, both in this case and the last decade of surplus school disposals, HRM’s failure to follow the policy it had enacted in 2000. Tim Bousquet at the Coast called foul on the staff report, stating that the either or choice staff presented council read more


OPENFILE: The windows are closed, again

Reality TV is still a big deal, right? Sure, sitcoms are ascendant (my favorite is Community, of course) butSurvivor is still on, The Amazing Race is a huge hit, and of course almost every show on the Food Network. As of last night, my favorite reality show is HRM Council. Watching them debate reconsideration of the sale of St. Pat’s-Alexandra School was an intense roller-coaster ride, like some CBC version of an old West Wing episode. The short version is: after making the citizens from the community supporting read more


Finger pointing and passing the buck; just another day at City Hall

“Camouflage is a game we all like to play, but our secrets are as surely revealed by what we want to seem to be as by what we want to conceal.” —Russell Lynes Unlike the last month or so, this time, when I write “there’s nothing to report about council,” it’s not because our elected municipal government was meeting in secret, but because they didn’t meet Tuesday night. Nevertheless, council landed back in the news with a resounding thud Tuesday. read more


Defence of the Status Quo nothing new in “Slackers”

I grew up a navy brat, fed a steady diet of Napoleonic War era novels like Hornblower, Aubrey Maturin, and Sharpe. But I also grew up reading Canadian novels from another era, the Battle of the Atlantic.  Hal Lawrence’s Bloody War and James Lamb Corvette Navy are two books that capture the experience of a colony becoming a nation, a token force becoming a world renowned navy. Reading these, I learned something later reinforced by Stephen Kimber’s book on Halifax during the read more


HRM District Proposals – the good, the bad, the ugly.

The fat is in the fire now!  People are seeing that downsizing from 23 to 16 councillors will really redefine the representative districts boundaries.  People can see what they will gain, and what they will lose.  Staff quietly put the proposed boundaries for the smaller 16 representative council online late Friday, at quitting time or there abouts. This meant that alert internet nerds (like me) were able to break this story and have a field day dissecting the two proposals before the read more


Open Letter to Mayor and Council

The reduction in Council size is an important decision in the history of our Municipality. It presents an opportunity for Council to take pause and ask of itself and the citizens whether we have the right governance model to move forward together. This conversation should not happen lightly, nor should it be rushed. Our letter got coverage in the Herald today.  I have heard some people may be having some trouble finding it, so I have linked to it here.


UARB decision is just the first step, and not the most important.

Today, the Nova Scotia Utility Review Board (UARB) ordered Halifax Regional Council reduced from 23 to 16 district representatives, plus the Mayor. The last few months of scandal and ethical challenges has lead to a feeling that this Council, as a government, is no longer functional.  Unlike a parliament or a legislature, they cannot pull the plug and move to an election, Nova Scotia municipal elections are fixed, and the next is October 2012.