Since my first update, we have seen how quickly things have progressed and evolved. We have seen many businesses decide to close their doors not knowing when they will serve customers again. I have heard from residents who have been very concerned about their tenancy and what is being done to ensure that they will not be evicted. Also, those who are worried about not being able to get around with the current Provincial state of emergency.
With all of this uncertainty, I am proud to see how our residents have come together to help each other get through these times. Remember you are able to help by checking on your neighbor, reminding family and friends to practice social distancing, and by staying 5 meters away from others not within your households.
If you are aware of any groups or organization who are providing support please let me know, so their information can be added.
The Nova Scotia government coronavirus website has up-to-date information that outlines ways to reduce the chances of becoming ill from COVID-19, actions being taken across Nova Scotia, and much more information.
What is the Municipality doing to respond to COVID-19?
- 311, fire, and police, are fully operational and continue to adhere to the most updated guidance and precautions from health officials.
- Halifax Transit is operating on reduced service effective March 23rd. Learn more about what that means here: https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/halifax-transit/coronavirus
- Transit fares are still not required. Transit is free, and riders are asked to board from the back doors to maintain social distancing from our bus drivers.
- Those with mobility issues (wheelchair users, walkers, canes) are still able to board through the front door.
- Access-a-Bus passengers are being asked to limit trip requests to essential trips only, including doctor’s appointments, medical services and dialysis, and prescription pick-ups.
- With regards to parking, parking fees at meters in the municipality have been waived and HotSpot will not accept payment until further notice.
- The enforcement of hourly spaces and monthly permit parking has also been suspended for the time being.
- Residential permits will still continue to be enforced, if your residential permit has recently expired, you will not receive a ticket.
- You will still get ticketed if you park in a no parking or no stopping zone
- With the closure of all Customer Service Centres, an online service to receive construction permit applications is under development and is expected to be operational early next week.
- The municipality is working closely with our colleagues at the province to find workable shelter options that meet the need for safe accommodations, including flexibility for isolation if needed. There have been HRM facilities recognized that will be used for temporary shelters. The locations of these cannot be shared due to the privacy of those fleeing from violence.
- The application deadline for Community Grants Programs, and the Tax Relief for Non-Profit Organizations program has been extended until May 15th.
- Effective March 16th, all branches of Halifax Public Libraries are closed, more info here. You can now register for a temporary digital library card online. Your library card is your passport to our collections and E-Library, and everything is free. Sign up: https://www2.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/assets/pages/registration/
Parks & Rec
- Effective Tuesday, March 17th all municipally owned recreation facilities, community centres and arenas are closed, and all programs and bookings will be suspended until further notice.
- Consistent with the decision by the Province of Nova Scotia to close all provincial parks, all municipal parks, beaches, playgrounds, sports fields/courts, and trails are closed until further notice. We are currently working with the Province to get clarity around what this means for HRM trails.
- All bills were mailed this, while the due date for the bill is April 30th, 2020 HRM recognize many customers may face economic impacts due to the COVID-19 . The municipality is currently looking at alternative payment options related to property taxes due April 30, 2020. HRM has in the past and will continue to provide payment plans and relief to those that need it. Decisions will be communicated to taxpayers in advance of the deadline and will focus on addressing the needs of businesses and residents. Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Halifax Water Bills
- No customers will be disconnected over the next 30 days. Customers should contact 902-420-9287 or customercare@Halifaxwater.ca The COVID-19 situation evolves daily. Halifax Water is monitoring.
You can stay up-to-date with the latest municipal government updates on COVID-19 here
Provincial COVID-19 update
Effective March 22nd the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency. The state of emergency will be in effect for 14 days and may be renewed.
Related to the state of emergency
- Anyone entering the province will be stopped, questioned, and told to self-isolate for 14 days. Exemptions for cross-border travel include healthy workers in trades and transportations sectors who move goods and people (e.g. truck drivers); healthy people going to work (e.g. health-care workers); and people travelling into the province for essential health services (e.g. chemotherapy treatment).
- Provincial parks, beaches, and tourist attractions are closed. Provincial trails will remain open for exercise.
- Social distancing is now the law, and police are authorized to enforce the order.
- Police are authorized to enforce orders under the Health Protection Act. If Nova Scotians and businesses do not practice social distancing and self-isolation, they will face fines of $1,000 for individuals and $7,500 for businesses.
- The province has invested $1 million to help Feed Nova Scotia purchase food and hire more staff
- Emergency funding of $230,000 for Senior Safety Programs and Community Links to help vulnerable older adults
- No tenant can be evicted because their income has been impacted by #COVID19, effective immediately for the next three months. (If you are being threated by your landlord please reach out to me or your MLA)
- University students from Nova Scotia who are still living in residences are being asked to go home. This will provide space for social distancing for those students from outside the province who are not able to travel.
- Personal service and fitness establishments such as hair salons, barber shops, spas, nail salons, body art establishments and gyms have been closed.
- Pharmacists can renew prescriptions for most medications and government will cover the assessment fee.
- Employers cannot require a doctor’s note if an employee must be off work. Also, fees are waived for retired doctors to renew their licences and come back to work.
- Regulated childcare centres to be closed to April 3 and then will be reassessed
Stay up-to-date with Provincial Government information https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
811: ONLY call if you have travelled abroad recently and are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms (fever with a temperature 38°C or higher, or a cough.)
1-833-784-4397: all other Covid-19 questions (federal info line)
Halifax Regional Municipality
Nova Scotia Government
World Health Organization
Extensive resources here for businesses impacted by COVID-19.