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Week in Review: Fighting fires and climate change
A budget session with HRM’s Fire Chief Ken Stuebing was one of the highlights this week. Chief Stuebing presented the map below which shows where the fire service has been able to meet response time standards (blue dots) and where it hasn’t (red dots). The response time information will be used to adjust staffing levels and determine best locations for new fire stations. Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency (HRFE) is expanding its role: a 20-member team with HRFE is one of only six in Canada certified to do urban rescues involving collapsed buildings. HRFE is also helping out with Covid-19 testing and using drones to detect wild fires.
Another highlight was a presentation by HRM staff about the potential of green hydrogen as part of the municipality's climate adaptation plan:
Hydrogen fuel is made from water and can be used for both heating and transportation. Hydrogen fuel is non-polluting and could be created in Nova Scotia using wind power, making it clean and green. (The downside is cost. For example right now hydrogen buses are four times as expensive as diesel.) I thought hydrogen was the energy source we might be using in the 2040's but it's probably not that far in the future:
I'd like to say a special thanks to the resident who emailed me about cars driving on Tremont Park field. Luckily the field was frozen so no harm done, but HRM Parks and Rec staff are making sure that can't happen again. Contact me at email@example.com ... See MoreSee Less
these summaries are useful. Thank you for becoming a Councillor!
Thank you for the summary and your email on the trash bins this week!
WEEK IN REVIEW
Here’s an update on a dog incident that many residents have been concerned about. Just before Christmas, HRM by-law enforcement staff began investigating a case of three dogs in the
Glenforest Drive area allegedly running loose and attacking two people. This week 24 charges were laid against the dog owners: 9 charges of owning a dog running at large, 12 charges of owning an animal that attacks a person and 3 charges of owning an unlicensed dog. This goes to court on March 9 for plea. In a separate process, all three dogs were deemed dangerous under By-law A-700.
My work in the district this week involved meeting with Keshen Goodman Library staff to learn about the new addition; meeting HRM traffic safety planners and the Rockingham School principal on Tremont Drive; meeting with staff about snow clearing and park projects; speaking with residents about a new community garden project; and catching up on calls and emails. And of course the vote on 210 Willett, which I covered in my previous post.
Other highlights were the Regional Council meeting on Tuesday (we discussed a new housing proposal for Burnside, HRM’s street navigator program for the homeless, and funding for accessible taxis) and the HRM budget meeting on Wednesday where councillors talked about funding for traffic calming, one of the key concerns I heard on doorsteps last summer (www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/halifax-council-traffic-calming-budget-speeding-road-safety-1....)
Thanks everyone for your comments on Facebook. I generally won’t be responding to online comments but I read them all and appreciate them. If you would like a response to your issue or concern, please contact me at Kathryn.firstname.lastname@example.org . ... See MoreSee Less
Here's what the dangerous dog designation under HRM's By-law A-700 requires: “The owner of a dog designated a dangerous dog shall: (a) license the dog as a dangerous dog within ten (10) days of receiving the designation; (b) when the dog is on the property of its owner, keep the dog securely restrained either indoors or inside an escape-proof enclosure while outdoors; and (c) when the dog is off the property of its owner, (i) muzzle the dog; (ii) ensure that the dog is under the control of a person not less than eighteen (18) years of age; (iii) ensure the dog is on a leash; or (iv) is securely restrained indoors or inside an escape-proof enclosure, including a motor vehicle.” The license fee for a dangerous dog is $100.00 annual or $300.00 lifetime. The dangerous dog designation is separate from the legal process of laying charges.
Kathryn I emailed you a few months ago about the lack of trash bins around dunbrack/rockingham and tremont park. I haven’t heard back.
Thanks for the update!
Thank you for keeping us informed.
Thank you, is the library expanding, that would be great.
HRM council unanimously approved the 210 Willett development last night. I voted yes because HRM has a severe housing shortage, especially rental housing. HRM has been growing by about 10,000 new residents a year and construction of new housing has not been keeping pace. As a result rent and housing prices keep climbing. Increasing the supply of housing is part of the solution and 210 Willett will increase supply by about 540 apartments. Although not low-budget, 210 Willett won’t be high-end either. It’s aimed at young professionals and seniors, who will be attracted by having a grocery store, drug store, bank, library, rec centre, park and many other amenities within walking distance. The new buildings will also be located on one of HRM’s four planned Bus Rapid Transit routes.
I also voted yes on this because I believe it’s the type of housing we need now. Modern cities are developing new housing in walkable neighbourhoods on public transit routes because it's more environmentally and economically sustainable. It’s better than sprawl. Denser suburbs will help create more viable and vibrant communities and that's why HRM's planners strongly recommended this go forward. The developer responded to the community and reworked the original design, changing it from three towers to two, to address shadow and wind concerns. Although I was elected late in the process, and my options were limited, I worked to get further changes to the buildings: increased parking, a better mix of apartment sizes and a wider buffer at the back. Once built, I think 210 Willett will reinvigorate Clayton Park.
District 10 is on the evolving edge of our growing city. Unfortunately there will be some growing pains and I recognize there are some downsides for nearby residents. A new development on this site was inevitable. I believe this building was the best that could be achieved under the circumstances.
documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3Ac125030a-87bc-4718-9e36-c1e27ea2c... ... See MoreSee Less
Clayton Park is a residential community not the downtown core so to try and develop it as council envisions the downtown core is a mistake. I am very disappointed council so easily dismissed the concerns raised by local residents and more so throwing them back at us - I'm talking to you directly councilor Shawn Cleary. Your comments saying you focus on council and developers point of view but not the taxpayers that pay your salary and eluding to local residents wanting to ban immigrants both didn't go unnoticed. Seems our concerns were of no concern to anyone and the decision was to be made regardless so I'd like to thank council for wasting our time and moving ahead with a project regardless of the views and concerns of those who will be most impacted.
So, in other words, people on income assistance won't be able to afford to move into any of the units, just like the developers had hoped!
If you voted yes because you believe a development that's walkable and on a transit route is better for the environment (and economically sustainable), then why would you work to ensure there was increased parking included in the updated plans?
Seniors??? I am one of those and myself and my peers won't be able to afford it, probably.
It seems like a logical place for that kind of density. For many people that’s the new downtown of the city, they have no desire to come into the peninsula. Thanks for posting the rationale behind your support.
It was good to get out on the Mainland Linear Trail last weekend. After reams of Teams meetings I needed some fresh air! It was a treat to see so many people enjoying the trail: walking their dogs, cycling, even snowshoeing. Being active is a great way to beat the February blahs, but I also heard from a winter-weary mother of four who told me she started a food drive because doing something feels better than doing nothing, and by helping someone else she's helping herself. She and her family are collecting for Feed Nova Scotia in Clayton Park next week. Love that community spirit! Watch for their flyer or donate online:
In council business last week, the budget committee heard from the RCMP and Halifax Regional Police. The committee approved HRP's funding requests for training related to the Wortley report's anti-racism recommendations, an additional clerk to process a backlog of reports, and a staff person to work on policy for police body-worn cameras.
The budget committee also heard from Halifax Public Libraries. HPL is one of Canada’s most well-used (50% above the national average!) and well-loved library systems. HPL asked for new funding to expand its food programs and increase its collection of audio and e-books to meet growing demand. Of special interest to District 10 and District 12 residents, HPL has plans to renovate and expand Keshen Goodman Library.
Coming up next week: regional council meets Tuesday afternoon, and there's a public hearing for 210 Willett on Tuesday evening. www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council/february-23-2021-halifax-regional-council-special-meeti...
If you'd like to receive my e-newsletter, please contact my constituency coordinator Stephanie Brown at email@example.com to get on the mailing list. ... See MoreSee Less
It's astonishing to think that HRP spends $260,000 on polygraph tests. $260,000 on something that is demonstrably junk science (and the Supreme Court of Canada considers inadmissable in court way back in 1987).
For Valentine’s Day, here’s to two people who put the heart in District 10: Michelle and Stuart Poteri. Michelle and Stuart met while rollerskating at Fairview’s Centennial Arena in 1980. They were married in 1983 and had their wedding reception at the arena, where Stuart’s dad worked for many years. Since 2011 Stuart and Michelle have been running the rink as a team. The past year has been tough with all the ups and downs of Covid. From what I’ve seen, Michelle and Stuart are at the rink eight days a week, with many days starting at 5am! You could say running the rink is a real labour of love for this couple, one that benefits the whole community.
The aftermath of Sunday night’s blizzard kept me extra busy this week. The high winds, plus the volume and speed of the snowfall, meant crews had difficulty meeting snow clearing standards. I received many calls and emails, mainly about problems with sidewalks, which I raised with snow operations staff. HRM’s plow operators work as efficiently as they can to give priority for emergency vehicles, buses, and pedestrian areas around schools. If you see vehicles parked on major streets and bus routes after snowstorms call 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week Mayor Savage gave his State of the Municipality Address, council voted in favour of an innovative shelter project on College Street to be developed by the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre, and the Finance and Audit committee received a concerning report from HRM's Auditor General about the way Halifax Regional Police handle IT security and sensitive information:
Otherwise this week I met (online) with residents and some of my fellow councillors, with the YWCA about affordable housing, and with music director Nathan Beeler about Halifax Regional Arts (formerly Halifax All-City Music), one of Canada’s best school-based music programs which is supported by HRM council.
You can reach me at Kathryn.Morse@halifax.ca or 902-497-7278. ... See MoreSee Less
Awesome couple 💑
These two are incredible hearts in our community!
Thank you Kathryn, Centennial Arena and District 10 are grateful to have you supporting the Community ❤️
The Centennial Arena is such an important part of our community. Their new meeting space is lovely, reasonably priced and desperately needed. Thank you to the Poteris! Keep up the good work, Kathryn, I know there is lots to be done!
Fun memories of Centennial Arena back in the 70s and 80s. Thanks to the Poteris, this important recreation facility continues to offer active living opportunities for kids and families.
Played tons of hockey there over the last 40 years or so and I always could count on them to keep things well oiled.
District 10 got best EVER Councillor,thank You Kathryn.
Are you wondering what your councillor does all day? This time of year, your councillor is up to her eyeballs in budget briefings and budget homework (lots of reading, the finance professionals do the actual accounting!). HRM has a $1 billion budget, of which 88% is fixed costs and 12% is discretionary. It’s mostly that 12% that council will be debating for the next few months. Anyone wishing to speak to council about budget priorities can register with the Clerk’s Office for upcoming sessions: www.halifax.ca/city-hall/budget-finances/budget
Responding to residents' inquiries and concerns is a big part of my day as well. This past week I've been in touch with residents about snow clearing, water meters, 210 Willett, access to the turning area on Saskatoon Drive, and lots of road safety and parking issues. The best way to reach me is Kathryn.Morse@halifax.ca.
Otherwise every week there are plenty of meetings to attend and prepare for. The Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee met last week. We heard a request for an independent ecological study of Sandy Lake (off Hammonds Plains Rd, it provides habitat for more than a dozen species at risk and nearly 100 species of birds) and got a progress report on HRM’s groundbreaking climate plan.
There was also a briefing for councillors about the next 5-year update of HRM's Regional Plan (to be finalized in 2022). The next plan will have more emphasis on growing suburban areas like District 10. Some of the core principles from the Centre Plan (Halifax Peninsula and Downtown Dartmouth) may be carried over to the suburbs. Expect to see increased focus on mixed use neighbourhoods (live, work and play close to home) and greater housing density on transit routes and near transit hubs (like Lacewood Terminal).
Just a reminder that HRM’s Community Grants Program is accepting applications until March 31 in a variety of categories. Non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for project grants of up to $5000 and capital grants of up to $25,000. For more details:https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/business/grants/Community%20Grants%20Program%202020-2021%20Guidebook%20Corrected.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2pr6WHLPvwOKQ2lzX801m-Ew1wx_Yzn4kwa5NfthPCdOQKEDrYPJM0h78 ... See MoreSee Less
Any progress on addressing the double street parking issue on Knightsridge heading into the roundabout? I almost got hit by a speeding Volvo driver who was making no effort whatsoever to safely get through the too-narrow lanes 10 minutes ago.
I know you’re working hard on our behalf. Keep up the good work !
I am happy to see this post I voted for you.