HRM INTRODUCE 311 CALL SERVICE

As of November 15th, residents, visitors and businesses can dial 311 from anywhere in HRM for easy and direct access to important municipal government information and services. Citizens should continue to dial 911 for emergency calls. An abbreviated telephone number regulated by the CRTC ( Canadian Radio – Television and Telecommunications Commission), 311 provides a single point of contact for citizens to request non-emergency local government service, complete a transaction, or receive general municipal information. It has been adopted by many cities across North America to improve accessibility to city information and services, and to increase effectiveness in responding to public inquiries. Notable enhancements to HRM’s citizen contact centre with the implementation of 311 telephone service include: Service in over 150 languages using a telephone interpretation service ; Return of holiday call taking (only closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) ; More efficient routing of calls through self-service options ; and the ability to call from anywhere in HRM without it being a long distance call (regular pay phone and cellular phone charges still apply). In the coming days, HRM will be launching 311 online, offering citizens the choice to make a variety of self-service requests through www.halifax.ca. Residents can call the 311 citizen contact centre from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Calls related to illegally parked vehicles or urgent transportation concerns, animal services, municipal operations, or wastewater service issues will be accepted outside of these hours. Hearing impaired teletypewriter users can continue to call 490-6645. For more information on 311 telephone service, visit www.halifax.ca/311.

POLICE ON-LINE REPORTS EXPANDED

Non-emergency online police reporting in HRM is now available to all residents in both English and French. The online police reporting initiative was launched by Halifax Regional Police in June of 2011. During the first phase of the project, online reporting was offered primarily to those  residents living in the urban core areas policed by Halifax Regional Police Service. The system has now been expanded to include all RCMP areas of HRM, from Sheet Harbour to Hubbards. The expansion also includes the option to submit online reports in both official languages. People can access online reporting by clicking on the following links:

English – www.halifax.ca/police/NonDispatch

French – www.halifax.ca/police/nondispatchFR/

If it is an emergency situation, please call 911.

 

ON-LINE   STREETLIGHT   OUTAGES

If you notice any streetlight problems in your neighbourhood, please let NS Power know. Under normal circumstances, it usually gets fixed within 7 business days. The NS Power web-site enables you to alert them directly of any safety and/or operational problems such as burnt out streetlights, or problematic lights that remains either lit all day (known as a day-burner) or frequently blinks off and on, please contact: www.nspower.ca/en/home/residential/services/streetlightrepairs.aspx . So let that light shine for all our safety sake.

HRM & NS PROPERTY TAX RELIEF

Seniors should check out the NS Property Tax Rebate Program for some possible property tax relief. The Provincial program will provide each qualifying recipient with a 50% rebate of the 2011 property taxes paid to a maximum of $600. For more information; please go to your nearest Access-Nova Scotia Service Centre (Baker Drive, Portland Hills ) or call toll – free 1-800-670-4357 or 424-5200 or go on-line: www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/access/individuals/consumer‑awareness/property‑tax‑rebate‑for‑seniors.asp. Provincial application deadline is December 31st, 2012. Complete an application form and return it to: NS Property Tax Rebate for Seniors Program, Service Nova Scotia & Municipal Relations, Business Registration, P.O. Box 283, Halifax CRO, NS, B3J 2N7. HRM can also help homeowners pay their property tax through a payment plan, a property tax rebate, or deferral of property taxes. These programs are available to all homeowners with a combined household income of $30,000 or less a year. There are different programs to choose from depending on a person’s needs. It is important that you know what choices exist. The HRM Web-site lists the different types of programs and how to make an application each year at: www.halifax.ca/revenue/exemption/index.html

COMMUNITY HEALTH BOARD FUNDS

The Eastern Shore Musquodoboit Community Health Board has funding available for local groups and organizations working to improve the health of their communities. For more information about applying or to receive an application form, please contact Anna Jacobs at 460-6888 or anna.jacobs@cdha.nshealth.ca. The deadline for applications is December 10th .

REMINDER TO NOMINATE VOLUNTEER

Just a friendly reminder to nominate individuals and groups who volunteer their time and skills to provide invaluable services and programs in our communities. The deadline for nominations for the 2013 awards is Friday, December 14th, To find out more information about the awards and nomination criteria please visit this web-site : www.halifax.ca/volunteerservices or contact Bronwyn MacKinnon, HRM Volunteer Services, Regional Recreation & Culture. Telephone 490-4535 or by e-mail at : mackinnb@halifax.ca or by regular post at : PO Box 1749, Hfx, NS B3J 3A5.

ACTIVE – 8 YOUTH CAMPAIGN

The Atlantic Council for International Cooperation wants to recognize youth leaders between the ages of 15-30 who promote the empowerment of women and girls, global social justice and/or environmental sustainability in their everyday lives. The ACTIVE-8! Campaign is led by a team of 8 youth ambassadors (2 per Atlantic Province) who encourage others to make on-line commitments to act for global change during the month of February 2013. The ACTIVE-8! leader who collects the most on-line commitments will be awarded a prize of $1000. The ACTIVE-8! Youth Team will be profiled on the ACTIVE-8! campaign web-site with the goal of inspiring others, particularly youth, to make a difference in the world through their actions. Please consider nominating someone you know as well as circulating this information as widely as possible. The deadline for nominations is 4 PM on December 18th, 2012 and self-nominations are also welcome. You can find the application form on the Active-8 website www.active8campaign.com . For further info please don’t hesitate to contact the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation at 210-2099 Gottingen St., Halifax, NS B3K 3B2. Tel 431-2311 Fax 431-3216 or e-mail acic-caci.org

NOMINATIONS FOR  W.P. OLIVER WALL

Each year the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia hosts the annual Rev. Dr. William P. Oliver Night of Honour at the Black Cultural Centre, in recognition and in memory of Dr. Oliver. He exemplified what is meant to be a “community leader”. Members of the Society are invited to nominate persons whom they wish to the Selection Committee for consideration of this annual award. The form is on-line:www.bccns.com/assets/pdfs/2013_wp_oliver_wall_of_honour_nomination.pdf  They must be completed and sent to: Black Cultural Centre, Nominations, 10 Cherry Brook Road, Cherry Brook, NS B2Z 1A6 or it can be faxed to 434-2306. All applications must be received at the above address by 12:00 noon, Thursday, January 3rd, 2013. The Society will present up to five awards in any one year including posthumous award(s) to someone who passed away after December 1st, 2011. The decision of the Selection Committee is final. The Night of Honour will be held on Saturday, February 9th, 2013 at 6:30 PM at the Black Cultural Centre.

 

BCC ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT

The NS Black Cultural Centre will be having its Annual Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 8th at 7 PM. For more details; check their web-site: www.bccns.com 

 

NSHCC  81st  ANNUAL  BROADCAST

The NS Home for Coloured Children (NSHCC) will be conducting its 81st Annual Broadcast for Funds on Sunday, December 9th from 2-6 PM on Eastlink TV- Channel 10. The show will be hosted at the NS Community College waterfront campus auditorium in Woodside. The general public are encouraged to come and watch the show live. Admission is “free” but a Free Will Gift / Love Offering will be graciously accepted. Go to : www.NSHCC.ca

PEACE ON EARTH & GOODWILL TO ALL

My wife Susan and I want to wish everyone the very best of this Holiday Season. During this joyful time of year there are many types of spiritual and cultural celebrations: Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël, Season’s Greetings, Happy Hanukkah, Al Hijra, and Kwanza. The message for Peace On Earth, and Goodwill to All is universal. Have yourself a blessed time with your families, friends, and neighbours. May we all strive for peace, tranquillity and harmony in our daily lives. Remember those that may be less fortunate who are experiencing hardship and despair. Please give to your local food bank. Or give the gift of life and donate blood. May God Bless us all with good health, happiness and prosperity throughout the New Year ahead.