PUBLIC INPUT ON HRM BUDGETS

HRM Council has been discussing its 2017/18 annual operating and capital budgets. Before finalizing those discussions, residents are encouraged to highlight their priorities for the upcoming year. The hands on budget allocator tool lets citizens share their thoughts on where tax dollars should go. This online tool allows residents to simulate adjusting the municipal tax dollars allocated to various services like transit, parks, fire, and policing and see the potential impact this has on both service delivery and the overall budget.

Residents are also invited to dive into the Shape Your City online engagement portal to answer some key questions in the budget debate. All answers and opinions shared on this interactive website will be shared in staff reports to Regional Council.

A preliminary report including comments already left on the Shape Your City portal has been provided to Regional Council early in this budget process. A final report will be given to the Councillors prior to the final deliberation and vote on the budget that is slated for Tuesday, March 21st.

For more information on the budget process and to provide input visit: www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/hfxtax2017.

DEAN GETS MORE FUNDING

Last year HRM Council approved an annual grant of $6,400 renewable up to five years to be paid to Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores (DEANS). DEANS promotes the Eastern Shore and Northumberland Shore as unique destinations, assists its members with marketing opportunities and leverages strategic partnerships to benefit the tourism industry and economic development of the destinations.

In 2015 the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) through its Strategic Tourism Expansion Program (STEP) identified the area between Musquodoboit Harbour and Sherbrooke as a candidate area for tourism development. Funded by ACOA, the Province of Nova Scotia, HRM, the District of St. Mary’s in Guysborough County and local businesses a locally based Working Group was created to develop a Strategic Plan. The plan was presented to a group of community and funding partners in April 2016.

The Working Group has since developed a proposal for the next phase in the process of improving tourism along the Eastern Shore.
On May 26th 2016 DEANS submitted a formal request seeking an 11% contribution ($33,700) from HRM in a combination of cash ($7,900) and in-kind ($25,800) support, which was approved by HRM Council on February 7, 2017.

For more details about this initiative, go to: www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/170207ca1422.pdf.

HRM COMMUNITY GRANT PROGRAM

Reminder that the 2017-2018 HRM Community Grants Program application deadline is March 31st.

See details at: www.halifax.ca/boardscom/bccgrants/CommunityGrantsProgram.php.

ORDER OF NOVA SCOTIA NOMINEES

The nomination deadline for the Order of Nova Scotia (ONS) is March 17, 2017.

The ONS recognizes Nova Scotians for outstanding Contributions to their communities. NS citizens are encouraged to nominate or re-nominate someone they feel has made a significant contribution.

Nomination forms are available at Access Nova Scotia Centres throughout the province. For more information, please call the NS Protocol Office at 902-424-2467 or E-mail: orderofnovascotia@gov.ns.ca or visit the ONS Website: http://gov.ns.ca/iga/order.asp.

The Order of Nova Scotia is the highest honour of the Province of Nova Scotia. Established in 2001, it encourages excellence by recognizing Nova Scotians for outstanding contributions or achievements.

HRM CAMP COURAGE

Young women across the municipality are encouraged to apply for a spot in this summer’s unique first responder camp July 9th-16th.

Camp Courage is an eight-day mentoring camp that brings together teens ages 15-19 who are curious about a career as a firefighter, Police officer or paramedic. This award winning camp is held every two years. While the one-of-a kind camp shows girls what it takes to be a first responder, the ultimate goal is for the young women to develop a sense of empowerment and build the confidence to believe they can achieve any goal, career or dream they desire.

More than 60 camp graduates have moved into careers as first responders since the camp was founded 11 years ago. The camp is free, but applicants must write an essay describing how they would improve a less fortunate person’s life or their community. Camp Courage accepts 24 participants and applications are due on March 31st.

For more information on Camp Courage and how to apply visit their website at: www.campcourage.ca.

USA YOUTH AMBASSADOR PROGRAM

The Youth Ambassadors Program is a three-week exchange for Canadian students and adult mentors to visit the United States. The goals are to promote mutual understanding between the countries, increase leadership skills, and position youth to make a difference in their communities.

The Youth Ambassadors Program with Canada strives to reflect the geographic, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of Canada. This summer’s trip will take place from July 17th to August 6th. The group will visit Ottawa, New York State, and Washington, D.C. There is no cost to apply, and all travel expenses are covered by the Youth Ambassadors Program. Applications are competitive and the deadline to apply is March 30th.

For more information and application forms, please contact:
Joan Faulkner – Public Affairs – USA Consulate General Halifax at 902-442-2076
or faulknerje@state.gov
or Facebook.com/usconsulatehalifax
or Twitter.com/usconshalifax
or www.plattsburgh.edu/cesca/youthleadership.php.

OPEN-AIR BURNING SEASON

The Open-Air Burning Season restrictions begin on March 15th. There are on-line fire index maps at:
http://novascotia.ca/natr/forestprotection/wildfire/forecasts.asp and www.novascotia.ca/burnsafe.

It will ensure everyone knows the risks of wildfire in all areas of our province each day. The map will show green, red, or yellow in each county to let us know if it is safe to burn, unsafe to burn, or safe with restrictions. The map and recorded phone message will be updated daily.

You may also call  Burn Safe toll-free at 1-855-564-2876.

Commercial and industrial brush burning still requires a burning permit from a local DNR office. For more information about safe burning practices, visit: www.halifax.ca/fireprevention/Burning.php.

Be sure to follow all instructions and rules of conduct, and be respectful of your neighbours when you want to burn. Be cognizant of those with any sensitivity to smoke. Please be very careful and burn safely.

DOG LICENSES: NEW or RENEWAL

HRM requires all pet owners to license their dogs annually by April 1st. The licensing year runs from April 1st to March 31st. Pet owners are required to apply for a license within 10 days of obtaining a dog.

HRM now offers a “LIFETIME” registration that also requires your pet to have a microchip for easy identification purposes. There are discounted license prices for seniors and for dogs that have been spayed or neutered. There is no fee for Special Aid Personal
Assistance Dogs. The rates are higher for any dog that is registered as “Dangerous”.

You can license your dog in person at any HRM Customer Service Centre or at select veterinary clinics or by mailing a completed licensing form with the correct payment to:

HRM Dog Licensing, PO Box 1749, Halifax NS B3J 3A5.
Renewals may also be made with a credit card by calling the HRM Contact Centre at 311 or 1-800-835-6428.

Pet owners found to be in violation of HRM By-Law A-700 licensing regulations may be issued a warning notice or be issued a Summary Offense Ticket of $237.50 or greater and/or could have their dog seized by Animal Services and face further prosecution in court.

For more information visit: www.halifax.ca/animalservices/PetLicensing.php.