Pride in Your Shared Neighbourhood

News & Events

February 2017

Newsletter written by: Waye Mason, Councillor - District 7 (Halifax South Downtown)

Update #7: Snow day edition – sidewalk snow removal, wood stoves, parking fines, oh my!


NEWS

Happy snow day to all of you who got a day off on this glorious sunny Friday!  As a wise man said on twitter this morning “our community was really committed to today being a day off!”

Lots of public meetings and events are listed below, but a big deadline coming up especially for parents: registration for Spring Recreation programs begins Feb 22, 2017. Details in the newsletter below.

A couple of issues are percolating right now and I wanted to update residents about them:  sidewalk snow clearing, wood burning stoves, parking fine increases.

Sidewalk snow clearing
Sidewalk snow clearing was once again in the news.  I tried at the Budget Committee this week to ask that sidewalk clearing be reviewed on the peninsula, but the motion was voted down.  I was asking for public engagement on the issue and a poll (vote) of residents.  It was frustrating that Council was not willing to ask you, the residents, what you want.

Let’s be honest, it isn’t all bad!  Some contractors, some drivers, on some streets, seem to have gotten the right mix and its been okay.  But in other areas the sidewalks don’t seem to get salted, or even cleared properly.  If it worked well everywhere and less private property damage was occurring, it would not be an issue.

I am working with the other peninsula Councillors to see if we can finally let you have say.  I think we need to have a conversation, because while two years ago I know it would have been 90% of residents saying “stop it” but now it probably is closer to 60 against, 40 for.  We should talk about it, and if we are going to keep doing it, then we need to get snow blowers and smaller gear on our oldest streets where bobcats just don’t work.  We want bare concrete, not icy snow covered.  If we are going to do it, it has to work.

If you care about this issue either way, let Council know!  Write an email to clerks@halifax.ca, CC me, and ask for it to be distributed to Council.

Wood burning stoves
I’ve had a few emails about the story on the CBC about banning or regulating wood burning stoves.  What I recall was the staff report was more around an issue with a resident who was smoking meat in his back yard, all day, every day, in great quantity.  That is a really different conversation from a CSA approved, low smoke, code compliant wood burning stove or furnace.  I think there is some confusion here with the report, and I don’t think the municipality needs to regulate wood stoves.

Parking fines
Council has decided to hold of on increases to meter fine increases and have a public conversation about parking in the summer or fall.  This is in line with what I said earlier about this when the controversy was stirred up. I do think fines should go up, but probably not double for every issue, like a meter violation.  ‘Stacked’ tickets (getting another ticket if you are still there an hour later) at meters is a great idea worth pursuing.  That said, many residents in residential neighbourhoods have written supporting time regulated tickets going up, and I agree.  We’ll talk about it again later this year.

PUBLIC MEETINGS

Public Information Meeting – Case 20387
Monday, February 13, 2017 7pm| Alderney Gate Public Library
There will be a public information meeting regarding the application by T A Scott Architecture and Design to enter into a development agreement to allow a 10 storey, 163 residential building with ground floor commercial use. For more information on this proposal, please visit
http://www.halifax.ca/planning/applications/case20387details.php

Halifax and West Community Council
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 6pm | City Hall, Halifax Council Chambers
The next meeting of the Halifax and West Community Council will take place on February 14th from 6-8pm in Council Chambers at City Hall. Please visit http://www.halifax.ca/Commcoun/west/index.php to view the upcoming agenda and information about the meeting.

Budget Deliberations – Halifax Regional Council
Wednesday, February 15th 2017 9:30am | City Hall, Halifax Council Chambers
Public Budget Deliberations on the 2017-18 budgets continue on Wednesday, February 15th at 9:30am. There is an opportunity for residents to address council for 5 minutes during the deliberation process. The agenda begins with a staff presentation, followed by public comments and then council discussion and debate. Agendas are available by noon on Friday prior to the meeting date and are available by visiting http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/cagenda.php

COMMUNITY MEETINGS & EVENTS

Camp Courage – Applications now being accepted
Camp Courage is a free police, fire, and paramedic camp for young women aged 15-19. The ultimate goal is to leave young women with a sense of empowerment and confidence to achieve any career goal they aspire to. Applications are now open for women interested in participating in the camp, taking place July 9th – July 16th. For more information on how to apply, please visit https://campcourage.ca/

All Humans are Human – Talk by Romeo Dallaire
Thursday, February 9, 2017 7pm | Dalhousie University
Join Romeo Dallaire and the Child Solider Initiative at Dalhousie University for this important and timely lecture, part of an annual series which explores the broad themes of tolerance, multiculturalism, diversity and difference in contemporary Canadian society. Established as a partnership between the Shaar Shalon Synagogue and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, this lecture series demonstrates their shared interest in bringing these themes to wider civil society. This event is free and open to the public, and a limited number of seats will be reserved on a first come, first served basis. For more information, please visit https://alumni.dal.ca/get-connected/event/shaar-shalom-lecture-2017/

Hiring Immigrants for Success 2017 Summit
Friday, February 10, 2017 8:30am | Prince George Hotel
Hosted by the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) this event is an opportunity for business and HR professionals needing to hire employees to learn more about strategies and resources to help recruit and retain immigrant talent. For more information and to register, please visit http://www.isans.ca/

Winter Bike Week 2017
February 10-16, 2017 | Various locations around HRM
The Halifax Cycling Coalition is pleased to once again present Halifax Winter Bike Week, a week-long celebration offing an exciting list of activities including a group Frost Bike Ride, Free Yoga and Spin Classes, store discounts, coffee stations for commuters who bike to work and more. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/167778707043717/

Hospice Halifax Feeling the Love Valentine’s Dinner and Dance
Saturday February 11, 2017 | Westin Nova Scotian
Join Hospice Halifax for an evening of dinner and dancing in support of the organization which helps people and their families in end-of-life care. Entertainment will be provided by The Mellotones and Sasha Muise and the Double Sharps. For information and tickets, please visit www.feelingthelove.ca

Discovery Centre Opening
Sunday, February 12, 2017 | 1215 Lower Water Street
The new Discovery Centre will be officially opening to the public on February 12th at its new location on the Halifax Waterfront. A trip through space, a journey through the human bloodstream, or a visit to the bubble room are just a few examples of the new experiences that will be offered at the new 40,000 square foot Centre. In each gallery, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) facilitators will guide guests through the exhibits, answer questions and provide interactive learning experiences.  For more information, visit http://thediscoverycentre.ca/

“Moving up” Forum for Underemployed Professional Immigrant Women
Thursday, February 16, 2017 8am-12pm | Best Western Plus Chocolate Lake Hotel
The Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) is hosting a forum to share an overview of their two-year project that includes strategies for employers and human resources professionals to implement change and tools to improve their workplace practices. Professional immigrant women and champion employers will speak about their own experiences. This event is free to attend, but space is limited so registration is required. For more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/moving-up-underemployed-professional-immigrant-women-forum-tickets-28396876823?aff=es2

JEM (Joint Emergency Management) Volunteer Meeting
Wednesday February 22 | Creative Lab Halifax Central Library 7:30

Join the Joint Emergency Management (JEM) team! This community-based volunteer organization that works with HRM’s EMO.  This is great way for involved citizens to educate friends, family and neighbours in preparedness for emergencies. JEM’s motto is “neighbours helping neighbours”. During emergencies, residents in affected communities need to be prepared to help themselves and to assist others.  Come join us!

Registration for Spring Recreation programs begins Feb 22, 2017
HRM has over 50 Community and Recreation Centres around the municipality and offers a variety of recreation services to children, youth, adults and seniors all year round. Registration for the Spring Recreation Programs begins February 22 at 10am and the online catalogue is available now by visiting http://www.halifax.ca/rec/ProgramsandActivities.php

Mobile Food Market Winter Market
Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:45am | Needham Recreation Centre
The Mobile Food Market will begin their winter market on February 25th, bringing fresh produce to the communities of East Preston, North Preston, North End Halifax, Spryfield and Fairview. The winter market has set up “Drop and Go” food boxes in East Preston and Spryfield, and “Stay and Sell” temporary indoor markets in North Preston, North End Halifax, and Fairview. For more information on the market, including sites and schedule, visit http://www.mobilefoodmarket.ca/

Annual African Heritage Month Service and Reception
Sunday, February 26, 2017 10:45am | Cornwallis Street Baptist Church
African Heritage Month is a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon the many contributions of people of African descent to our society.  Join the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church for their Annual African Heritage Month service and reception, beginning at 10:45am.

Celebrate Nova Scotia – Symphony Nova Scotia
Sunday, February 26, 2017 1:30pm and 3pm | Pier 21
The music of Nova Scotia tells a fascinating tale of cultural diversity spanning literally thousands of years. Join Symphony Nova Scotia for a musical journey beginning with the music of our Mi’kmaq people, travelling through to the sounds of the future. Admission is free. For more information, visit https://symphonynovascotia.ca/

African Canadian Women doing Business in Nova Scotia
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 6:30pm| Halifax Central Library
In honour of African Heritage Month, the Black and Immigrant Women Network Association, Ashanti Leadership, and Halifax Central Library will partner for their 2nd annual event. Four inspiring African Canadian women will share their stories of overcoming barriers and leading successful businesses. This event is free to attend. For more information, please visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/african-canadian-women-doing-business-in-nova-scotia-tickets-31394879931?aff=es2

HELP AND MORE INFO:

Call my office
Call our office for assistance with your municipal issues. Contact my Constituency Coordinator Melody Campbell by phone 902-490-2012 or email melody.campbell@halifax.ca or contact me directly. The best way to reach me is via email at my city email – waye.mason@halifax.ca or you can call my direct line at 902-490-8462.

311 – HRM’s Call Centre
HRM’s call centre is open 7 days/week from 7 am to 11 pm 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/

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: http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/cagenda.php

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. http://www.halifax.ca/commcoun/west/index.php

District 7&8 Planning Advisory Council Reports and Agendas
The District 7&8 Planning Advisory Committee meets once a month to discuss and provide feedback to council on planning proposals for the two districts. Please check the webpage for agendas (usually available a week before the meeting), locations and times: http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/D78PAC/index.php


Trashformers!

Transforming Our Neighbourhood One Street at A Time

Saint Mary’s University Centre for Housing & Residence Life is sending out a campus sized thank you to those residence TRASHFORMERS who swapped their Saturday morning sleep for street cleaning duty. Armed with pretty plastic gloves and blue T’s, this elite team of students can be seen strutting their stuff every Saturday morning from September to October, cleaning up litter along Inglis Street, Gorsebrook Avenue, Rogers Avenue, Tower Road, and Robie Street plus others.

Their reasons for giving up Saturday mornings go far beyond their room doors and they believe it is just one of many steps in the right direction of  “ giving back to the community “. Filling a bag of trash is only one goal the students achieve during their Saturday morning rituals.

All collected litter is also sorted and recycled according to HRM guidelines, providing students with the opportunity to promote recycling while giving back to the community.  Students also have a chance to chat and meet with local neighbors thus making neighbours aware that university students do more than just party over the weekend. Their efforts have a number of positive side effects on the surrounding neighborhoods such as:

  • Showing the community firsthand how working together can really make the community the best it can be.  
  • Allowing local neighbors to be part of an active clean solution     
  • Building confidence and changing attitudes and opinions of students throughout the community 

The Neighbourhood Committee Assistant for Trashformers encourages ALL SMU Students to join the team. Claiming that this experience “provided her with a better understanding of recycling, it is just one of many ways to socialize and create a strong bond with other students, and how easy it really is to give something back”.  The future of Trashformers looks to be bright, with the hopes to expand and start new projects, to raise more environmental sustainability awareness throughout the community and university campus, and to increase student participation.

Start taking pride in our shared neighbourhood today and enjoy the rewards. If you have any questions and/or comments please email us at goodneighbours@smu.ca  


What can I do to welcome my new neighbours?

Say hello! - Introduce yourself and your family;
Take the time to learn something about your new neighbours;
Try to imagine what it would be like to leave your home and move to a new place;
Take an interest in learning about other cultures and traditions;
Share a dish, a recipe or something from your garden;
Invite your neighbours for a coffee or a meal;
Organize a sport event, BBQ, a street party or a film night and involve your new
neighbours in the event;
Share with them places to visit, things to see, fun things to do and plan an outing
together;
If you have kids encourage them to play together or walk to school together;
Let them know if there is a neighbourhood association or group they can join;
Answer questions about garbage pick-up, recycling, composting, seasonal home
decorating etc.;
Make them feel like they’re part of the community!


As always I welcome your feedback, positive or negative, and would be glad to meet with neighbours individually to hear any concerns.

Sarah Morris
Assistant Director, Student Services
902-420-5615 (Secretary), 902-420-5601 (Direct line)
sarah.morris@smu.ca