I have heard from many residents from across HRM and beyond about the awful and frustrating situation that unfolded between protestors and police last week. As we move forward, we cannot have a repeat of the events that took place August 18th. HRM’s decision to provide notice to residents living in temporary shelters in HRM parks wasn’t a decision that the municipality came to lightly. The recent increase of shelters and tents in our parks, has resulted in an increased risk to the health and safety of both the tent occupants and the public, and had to be addressed, but what took place last week showed everyone that this urgent problem must be solved. It is also important to note that none of the encampment occupants were forcefully removed from the sites, all that were asked to leave left without incident, and were provided with information for supports. Yes, a few were issued summary offence tickets which I am not happy about, but this is something that is under the authority of compliance officers and HRP.
For the last several months, HRM has been working with the Province to ensure that provincial services will be in place to support encampment residents. The Provincial government is legally responsible for housing, shelter, rents, and tenancy. Municipalities are responsible for where buildings can be built, the policy’s, and by-laws related to this. We do not have the legal power to require affordability and cannot use land-use bylaws to require affordability. HRM’s decision to do this was built on the province’s commitment to provide both immediate, temporary accommodations (hotel) and long-term stable housing. On the 18th five occupants accepted emergency shelter beds and five accepted to be placed in hotels. All others chose not to accept those housing options, but Street Outreach Navigators and Provincial staff will continue to work with all homeless individuals to provide them with housing alternatives. Understanding that support may not have been made available to all involved, and I will continue to work with our partners to ensure individuals are connected with these housing options as was intended. More information on our approach to homelessness and municipal initiatives to support affordable housing can be found here.
As the Chair of the Halifax Board if Police Commissioners I have been asked if the Commission will investigate officers conduct on August 18th. Day to day operations of the police department is the authority of the Police Chief under the Police Act and specifically excluded from the Boards authority. Under the Police Act there is a public complaints procedure to the The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner, and if individuals feel they have been treated improperly by a municipal police officer, or feel an officer has acted inappropriately, complaints can be filed. You can also make a formal complaint to HRP by e-mailing email@example.com or by calling 902 490-4127. If there are injuries, these investigations are matter for investigation by Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT). I do have concerns with the reports of officer’s lack of identification name tags and wearing thin blue line badges. The Commission or Councillors have no authority to direct police officers or operations, but this is an issue that I spoke to our Police Chief about and as the chair I will take the appropriate actions needed within the power of the Commission to address these issues.
I share the deep concern for the individuals at the heart of this issue. Living in our public parks is not a solution. We will continue to work with our partners to address this ongoing issue of homelessness in our communities and work towards rapid action to address the needed solutions.
List of events and notices – here’s what is included:
- COVID-19 Related information
- HRM’s COVID-19 Events Recovery Program for Non-Profit Organizations
- Public Hearings
- Public Hearing Case 22115: Development Agreement to Allow a Multi-Unit Residential Building on a Registered Heritage Property at 2438 Gottingen Street (Victoria Hall)
- Case 20520: Development Agreement for 6330 and 6324 Quinpool Road, between Oxford Street and Preston Street
Items of Interest:
- RoadWorks Map (Sidewalk/street Closures & Disruptions)
- Sign up for hfxALERT
- Road Safety Dashboard
- Weekly green cart collection/blue bag recyclable collection
- Halifax Water Board Reports
- North End Business Association
- Quinpool Road Business Association
311 – HRM’s Call Centre
HRM’s call centre is open 8am-8pm Mon-Fri, 9am-5:30pm weekends 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/
Please send your feedback on issues before Community Council and Regional Council – and on any municipal issue. If you would like to send your comments to all Regional Councillors please email the Clerk’s Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that your comments are shared and are part of the public record.
If you would like to send events or information to be possibly included in my e-newsletter, please email with the subject line “E-Newsletter”
Covid-19 Related Information
There are many resources available to residents stay updated with the constantly changing information and measures taking place to control the spread of Covid-19 and to help residents stay informed and safe. I will list some below:
- Covid-19 Alert app: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html
- Covid-19 self-assessment https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/
- COVID-19 testing and online booking, https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/
- Government of Canada https://canada.ca/coronavirus
- Province of Nova Scotia https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
- Halifax Regional Municipality https://halifax.ca/coronavirus
HRM’s COVID-19 Events Recovery Program for Non-Profit Organizations exists to support our nonprofit community and cultural event organizations. This one-time grant is currently open for funding applications! Details of the program including applicant eligibility, program criteria and the application, can be found here: https://www.halifax.ca/parks-recreation/events/supporting-your-event/grants
Response to COVID-19: Halifax Mobility Response – Streets and Spaces
The first phase of the Halifax Mobility Response plan began earlier this week with the widening of sidewalks in high traffic areas, traffic signal modification and the implementation of temporary loading spaces for businesses in downtown Halifax and Dartmouth. Learn more about these changes, here.
August 24th 6:00 Virtual Public Hearing Case 22115: Development Agreement to Allow a Multi-Unit Residential Building on a Registered Heritage Property at 2438 Gottingen Street (Victoria Hall)
Report – https://www.halifax.ca/media/74360
More information on this application – https://www.halifax.ca/business/planning-development/applications/case-22115-2438-gottingen-street-halifax
August 24th 6:00 Virtual Public Hearing Case 20520: Development Agreement for 6330 and 6324 Quinpool Road, between Oxford Street and Preston Street
Report – https://www.halifax.ca/media/74362
More information on this application – https://www.halifax.ca/business/planning-development/applications/case-20520-6324-6330-quinpool-road
Items of Interest:
RoadWorks Map (Sidewalk/street Closures & Disruptions)
View the RoadWorks map to see current and upcoming sidewalk and street closures.
Weekly green cart collection/blue bag recyclable collection
Weekly green cart collection continues for the remainder of August and September. Put your cart out for collection each week until the end of September, even if it’s not full.
Sign up for weekly collection reminders, get a refresher on what goes where, check out recycling tips and much more, here. You can also download the free Halifax Recycles app on your Android or iOS device to have waste info at the palm of your hand. And don’t forget to follow Halifax Recycles on Facebook!
Residents looking to dispose of household hazardous waste not acceptable for curbside collection can bring their materials to the mobile special waste depot events happening this August.
When: Saturday, August 21
Where: BMO Centre, 61 Gary Martin Drive, Bedford
When: Saturday, August 28
Where: Oyster Pond Academy, 10583 Nova Scotia Trunk 7, Lake Charlotte.
The mobile drop-off depots will be in operation from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will take place rain or shine.
Materials accepted at the household drop-off depot include:
- leftover corrosive cleaners
- fuel oil and used motor oil
- pharmaceuticals and drugs
- aerosol cans containing hazardous substances
- barbecue propane tanks
- small propane cylinders (for example, those used for camp stoves and propane torches)
- batteries (visit call2recycle.ca for a full list of retail drop-off locations for batteries and cell phones)
- leftover liquid paint (paint and empty paint cans may also be returned to any Enviro-Depot. Please visit their website for locations and hours of operation)
Sign up for hfxALERT
hfxALERT is our mass notification system for the municipality, keeping residents informed about emergencies and operations updates. Sign up here
Road Safety Dashboard
Provides residents with updates regarding the actions outlined in the Strategic Road Safety Framework. Track the progress the municipality is making as we work together to accomplish our Toward Zero goal.
Halifax Water Board Reports
Please find below the link that will take you to the location where all of the Halifax Water Board meeting reports are posted (with the exception of In-Camera reports
North End Business Association
For an update on what is happening with businesses in the north end please visit the North End Business Association http://gonorthhalifax.ca/ and sign up for their monthly email.
My other Committee and Board commitments:
Regional Council – Next meeting
Regional Centre Community Council
Halifax and West Community Council
Community Planning & Economic Development
Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee
Community Design Advisory Committee
Board of Police Commissioners
(CACE) The Council on African Canadian Education