Participatory Budget Vote Night
Tuesday November 7th, 6:00 – 8:15 p.m.
Findlay Community Centre
Tomorrow, on November 7th, the first participatory budgeting process will conclude in District 5 with the award of $50,000 in District Capital funds to local community groups. All District 5 residents are eligible to vote for their favourite projects, including kids and permanent residents, so bring the whole family, your friends, and neighbours. This is your chance to have a direct say in how district funds are spent. The goal of participatory budgeting is to engage residents and build stronger community ties. Come vote, meet your neighbours, and checkout all the nonprofits that are doing great things in our community.
Voting will take place at the Findlay Community Centre between 6:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. The various community groups will be on hand to explain their projects and make their pitch science fair style. You can find a full list of the 19 projects and more information here. If you have any questions, contact my coordinator Laura Nooyen. Hope to see you tomorrow.
Prince Albert Road Redesign
November 23, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
192 Prince Albert Road, Mic Mac Aquatic Club
I’m pleased to announce that HRM staff will be holding an open house regarding a redesign of Prince Albert Road. The section of road that staff are examining wasn’t included in the current paving project and extends from the intersection of Braemar down to Sinclair. This area was originally scheduled to be repaved this year, but after I spoke with staff about it, staff agreed to look at a redesign instead. I’m very excited about this project and the potential to make Prince Albert Road a safer, greener and more livable place. I will post the design options online once they’re available after the meeting.
Glenwood/Prince Albert Development
December 7, 6:00 p.m.
90 Alderney Drive, Harbour East – Marine Drive Community Council
Harbour East Community Council has scheduled a public hearing for a proposed development at the corner of Prince Albert Road and Glenwood Avenue. The public hearing will occur at the next meeting of Harbour East Council on December 7. At the public hearing, the planning department will present their recommendation, the developer will have a chance to speak and then members of the community will each have 5 minutes to address Council. I know this development has attracted a lot of attention and I look forward to hearing your views. For more information on what’s proposed, please see the staff report available here.
First Baptist Church Open House
November 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
95 Victoria Road, Dartmouth High School Cafeteria
First Baptist Church is preparing to relocate from the Church’s historic building at the corner of Ochterloney and Victoria to a currently vacant parcel of land at the corner of Lancaster and Woodland. The Church is holding an open house to detail its plans for its new home in Lancaster and to get feedback from the local community. This isn’t a mandatory planning meeting being hosted by HRM, it’s a completely voluntary meeting that First Baptist is holding to engage the community. For more information, you can contact First Baptist at FBCDLancaster@gmail.com
Due to the all the ongoing construction around Sullivan’s Pond as a result of the Sawmill River Project, Remembrance Day ceremonies have had to be adjusted this year. There is simply not enough room to safely hold the ceremony at the Cenotaph. Dartmouth’s Remembrance Day Ceremony will still go ahead, but will occur at the other end of Sullivan’s Pond at the band shell. The parade and military flyby will still be part of the event. The working plan is to conduct a Drumhead Ceremony of Remembrance, which is an old military tradition dating back several hundred years and was used by solders at times when an altar or monument wasn’t available. Please come out on November 11 to celebrate the freedom we enjoy and to remember the past and present sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform in defence of those freedoms.
Sawmill River Project:
Construction is continuing on the Sawmill River project. The mess of construction and traffic delays are a nuisance for many, but have been hard on residents in Lock4 and several business along Ochterloney. Please avoid parking in the Lock4 permit spaces on Prince Albert Road and consider visiting some of the affected businesses. On Thursday last week, HRM Traffic adjusted the traffic light at Hawthorne and Prince Albert to provide an extended green to try and reduce backups on Hawthorne during the afternoon rush hour. If all goes according to plan, Ochterloney will reopen in December.
Argyle Street Party. Photo: Marieke Walsh, Global
Argyle Streetscape Project The Argyle Streetscape Project is almost finished and Argyle is now fully open to the public. The new Argyle is more people-focused. The curbless streetscape creates a shared thoroughfare between major destinations, enhancing the entertainment district for residents, businesses, and tourists. This is the first project of its kind in HRM and Atlantic Canada. For more information visit HRM’s website. With the conclusion of the Argyle Project, HRM’s next priority is Spring Garden Road. After that, they’ll be a chance to revisit streetscaping to consider other potential projects.
HRM will not be renewing its parking contract with G4S and will be taking over enforcement duties starting on November 14th. The municipality will be hiring nine new officers in the coming weeks to handle parking violations and other minor offenses. Please be advised that current cases and investigations may be delayed while HRM hires the needed staff.
The decision to bring parking enforcement back in-house was, in part, based on HRM’s experience of handling parking enforcement during the last gap between contracts. During the seven weeks from the termination of the ISSA contract and the start of the one with G4S, HRM bylaw officers wrote more tickets than the private operators did and also generated fewer complaints. As a result, bringing parking enforcement in-house is expected to save HRM $175,000 a year and produce better results for residents. It’s a service that HRM has concluded is best managed directly. I’m very pleased with the decision.
You can call or email 311 to report parking violations, but again, delays are likely over the next few weeks.
Big Lift Delay
Halifax Harbour Bridges has announced that the Big Lift project will be delayed until Spring 2018. The re-decking project began in 2015 and has successfully replaced 46 bridge deck panels on the Macdonald Bridge. Regular overnight closures are scheduled to end November 24th. Closures will still happen from time-to-time until the project is complete in the Spring. For more information on the Big Lift see the Bridge Commission’s website.
2018 Volunteer Award Nominees
Each year HRM recognizes the contributions of individuals and groups who volunteer their time and skills to provide services and programs in our community. Nominations are now being accepted in three categories: adult, youth (ages 13-19) and community group. The deadline for nominations for the 2018 awards is Friday, December 15th and the awards will be held in April. To nominate someone who has made a difference or to get more details, visit HRM’s website.
Tax Exemption for Local Groups
HRM helps many local non-profit organizations reduce their property tax payments through the Tax Relief for Non-Profit Organizations Program. There are several possible reductions available to non-profits such as converting commercially assessed property to residential to take advantage of the lower residential rate. Applications must be filed by November 30th, and each group must re-apply annually to maintain their exemption. Again, all non-profits must apply annually and late submissions are penalized. Visit HRM’s website for more information.
Please note, that non-profits that lease space and pay taxes as part of their lease are currently not eligible for tax exemptions. HRM staff are looking at this problem and a report will be coming to Council in the future on this issue.
Windmill Road Construction
HRM is advising residents that road construction will take place until the middle of November on Windmill Road between Wright Avenue and Victoria Road. Crews will be on site each day from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and lane drops will be in place while work is underway. Expect delays and use an alternate route whenever possible.
Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE) are currently conducting a career firefighter recruitment drive. Being a firefighter is a challenging and rewarding career that offers the opportunity to help others as part of a skilled team. The selection process will include aptitude testing, physical abilities testing and a panel interview. The application deadline is Sunday, November 19th. See HRM’s website for more details.
Chronic Disease Innovation Fund
The Chronic Disease Innovation Fund supports new programs, or enhancements to existing programs that help Nova Scotians live healthier lives and reduce the effects of chronic disease. Up to $300,000 in grants will be available through the fund and the deadline to apply is November 30th. Visit their website for more information.
Winter Program Registration
Winter program registration for HRM recreation programs is now open. Check out the recreation guide for information about programs happening in our community. Registration for winter skating and aquatics programs will open on December 13th at 10:00 a.m. Visit HRM’s website for more details.
Dartmouth Senior Service Centre Giving Tree
The Dartmouth Senior Service Centre will be supporting the Dartmouth Family Centre and Dartmouth North Community Food Centre with a giving tree this season. The two Centres provide many services to support and strengthen families in Dartmouth North and offers programs that encourage growing and cooking affordable and nutritious food. From November 20th – December 15th stop by the Senior’s Centre to pick up a tag from the tree that will list a needed item, then bring that item back to put under the tree. See their website for more information.
Dartmouth Community Chest Fundraiser
The Dartmouth Community Chest is a weekly 50/50 draw in support of local community organizations. For just $2/week you will be entered to win 50% of the week’s revenue and the remaining balance will be donated to the Cole Harbour Rural Heritage Society, Hope for Wildlife, MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning, Dartmouth Special Olympics Nova Scotia or the Take Action Society. For more information, see their website.
To keep you better informed about what is going on at Council, I’m writing a regular blog after each council meeting. Each of my entries is about what I saw as noteworthy from a District 5 perspective and my views on the issues. We might not always agree, but I think it’s important to provide a record of how I voted and why.
Council Update October 31, 2017
A meeting where Council considered a request for funding from the Halifax Road Train Society, the future of the assessment cap, a new public safety strategy, a lobbyist registry and more. Read about it here.
The Road Forward – NFB Indigenous Cinema on Tour
Tuesday November 7th, 1:00 p.m.
Alderney Gate Public Library
The Alderney Library will be screening The Road Forward, a musical documentary that links the beginnings of Indigenous Nationalism in the 1930s to the activism of First Nations today.
Fidget Spinners and Chicken Dinners
Tuesday November 7th – Tuesday December 19th, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Dartmouth North Community Food Centre
Fidget Spinners & Chicken Dinners is a weekly program that will give teens the confidence to transform raw ingredients into a healthy, delicious meal. They will have the opportunity to learn cooking skills and food knowledge that supports and encourages a healthy lifestyle. Each week they will come together as a community and prepare and enjoy one meal together while learning tips and tricks in the kitchen that can be used at home. Artist in Residence of the MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning Emily Lawrence will also be there with a sampler of art activities inspired by food. See their website for details.
Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary
On December 6th, 2017, 100 years will have passed since the Halifax Explosion. There are many special events and initiatives happening this year aimed at educating residents and encouraging everyone to remember. The Alderney Gate Public Library is hosting two upcoming events that will illuminate how the explosion impacted two communities:
Picking Up the Pieces with Catherine Martin
Thursday November 9th, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Alderney Gate Public Library
A public talk about the impact of the Halifax Explosion on the Mi’kmaq communities along the Dartmouth Shore.
A True Gaelic Story of the Halifax Explosion with Emily McEwan
Tuesday November 28th, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Alderney Gate Public Library
Hear a true Gaelic story of one of the sailors impacted by the Halifax Explosion. The story will be told bilingually in English and Gaelic with traditional fiddle accompaniment by Kate Dunlay.
To view more stories, upcoming events and experiences about the Halifax Explosion, visit this website.
Kris Kringle Craft Show and Breakfast
Sunday November 12th, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
North Woodside Community Centre
Stop by the North Woodside Community Centre for your holiday shopping to find over 70 craft tables and a $5 pancake breakfast. For more information, call 902-463-9276.
Diabetes Awareness Month
November is Diabetes Awareness month. 1 in 3 Canadians has prediabetes or diabetes, and many don’t know it, which is why Diabetes Canada is focusing activities this year on early detection and prevention of type 2 diabetes. There is a simple test you can take to assess your risk. Visit Diabetes Canada’s website for more information. You can also learn more about diabetes by attending the Dartmouth North Diabetes Expo.
Dartmouth North Diabetes Expo
Tuesday November 14th, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Dartmouth North Community Food Centre
Learn more about the resources available to support people living with type 2 diabetes in our community with exhibitors, risk screening, prizes and guest speaker Dr. Michael Vallie. See their facebook page for details and to register.
YWCA’s Strong With Her Immigration Story Event
Thursday November 16th, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
As part of Canada’s 150th Celebrations, the YWCA is hosting an event where newcomer women will share stories of their first 150 days in Canada. RSVP to Carol if you are interested in attending.
Dartmouth Seniors Service Centre 41st Anniversary Dinner
Thursday November 16th, 6:00 p.m.
Dartmouth Seniors Service Centre
Join the Dartmouth Seniors Service Centre in celebrating 41 years of serving seniors in our community. Enjoy a three course salmon dinner, entertainment and a silent auction as they recognize the long time supporters of the Seniors Centre. For tickets and more information visit the Centre’s website.
Friday November 17th – Saturday November 18th
DoubleTree by Hilton, Dartmouth
The volunteer conference is a celebration of the contributions of volunteers in our region. The conference gives citizens an opportunity to participate in training, networking and learning that will help them become more effective in their work and provide strong volunteer capacity in HRM. For more information, or to register visit HRM’s website.
Diverse Voices for Change
Monday November 20th, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
All are welcome to attend an insightful discussion led by Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard exploring the Experiences of African Canadian Women in Leadership within the Public Sector. To attend, contact Huwaida Medani to RSVP.
Wayne Weng Concert
Friday November 24th, 7:30 p.m.
Woodlawn United Church
Celebrated pianist Wayne Weng will be giving a piano performance as part of the Dartmouth Community Concert Association’s 61st season. For more information, see their website.
Friday November 24th, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Alderney Gate Public Library
Join the Library for a book-themed community tea. There will be a resident expert on hand to discuss reading interests and share recommendations. Enjoy social time with friends while discussing your favourite books and working on crafty creations.
Crosswalk Safety Action Day
Wednesday November 29th
HRM is continuing to focus on influencing positive behavior near crosswalks in hopes of preventing collisions. The event has been renamed from Crosswalk Safety Awareness Day to Crosswalk Safety Action Day (CSAD), “Let’s do more than talk about crosswalks.” Short videos supporting this message will be shared through social media with the hashtag #headsuphalifax. For more information, visit HRM’s website.
Coastal Dance Theatre Snow Queen
Friday December 1st – Sunday December 3rd
Alderney Landing Theatre
Bring the whole family to experience Snow Queen, adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale with the Coastal Dance Theatre. For tickets and showtimes, see their website.