HRM has mailed out 13,000 invitations across the municipality for households to participate in the 2012 Citizen Survey to gather feedback from residents, measure performance and help guide strategic policy and planning decisions. Survey results helps Regional Council to understand and address the issues that are important to all its residents.  Nova Insights, an independent market research firm, will conduct the survey as well as collect and manage all survey responses. Information gathered on your behalf will be kept in strictest confidence.

In order to ensure that the Citizen Survey results are representative of HRM’s population, a random sample selection process had to be used. In District 1 and District 3 respectively, 531 and 541 surveys ( 1,071 in total ) were sent out representing our 4.14 % ( 8.28 % collectively) of the overall general HRM population base. Survey invitation letters, containing a unique PASSCODE, were mailed to residents in early January.

The on-line survey is the preferred and most economical option. It should take approximately twenty minutes to complete. Once you start the survey your responses will be saved automatically after a period of inactivity or as you click ‘Save’. Surveys can also be completed by telephone or by requesting a paper copy. There are 47 questions plus a feed back section in the 28 page survey booklet. You will still need the PASSCODE provided in your invitation letter to complete the survey.

Deadline for all responses was initially set for February 3rd, but an extension has been requested to ensure broader awareness and greater participation. If you do not receive a letter but would like to participate, we would still love to hear from you. Please contact Nova Insights, at 1-877-744-4405 to arrange for separate on-line access, a paper copy of the survey, or to take the survey via telephone. If you were afforded an invitation, then I urge you to participate. Your input will be greatly appreciated.

On July 27th, 2011, the NS Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) decided to reduce the number of Districts for the next general municipal election in October 2012. HRM electoral map will be redrawn to 16 Councillors plus the Mayor. On December 20th, the NSURAB decided on the boundaries for the 16 districts.

To see a revised district map, go to: www.halifax.ca/BoundaryReview/Documents/UARB_Decision_Map.pdf .

There will be a significant impact on our current District 3. The communities of Lake Major, Westphal (Ross Road) and the lower Cole Harbour basin (Coleridge Estates) areas will be put into the neighbouring district that encompasses  the communities of Cole Harbour – Westphal entirely. And all the communities east of Gaetz Brook along the Eastern Shore will be merged with the remainder of District 3. The new District will go from North Preston, East Preston, Little Salmon River subdivision, Lawrencetown and go all the way eastward to Ecum Secum.  The Musquodboit Valley region will merge with the Waverley – Fall River area.

The Kinap Athletic Club is seeking Board Members. This canoe club is situated at 181 Greenough Drive in West Porters Lake. It is a non-profit corporation managed by volunteers, and local community members.

Kinap offers sprint canoe and kayak paddling and summer day-camp for the months July and August. The paddling is both recreational and competitive; and their day-camp has a variety of summer activities as well as unstructured playtime for up to 40 children ages 5-12 years of age.

There is also some playground equipment on site and HRM offers week-day summer lifeguard  supervision at Kinap’s swimming beach. The Clubhouse is also available for rentals.

For more information, please see their web-site : www.kinap.com or leave a message at 827-5850. Or call  Jane Clarke at 827-4015 or by e-mail at jclarke@atlanticamechanical.ca

February 2012 will mark the 28th year Nova Scotians have celebrated African Heritage Month in this province.

The African Heritage Month Information Network – a partnership of community organizations have gathered together to help ensure the promotion and awareness of events and activities in HRM and  province wide.

Be sure to check out the ANSA website for its African Heritage Month calendar for more program details on upcoming events, concerts and other special functions at: www.gov.ns.ca/ansa/AHM2012.asp

Annually the NS Black Cultural Centre (BCC) awards this prestigious distinction to a few deserving individuals from the Nova Scotian Black Community who exemplify community service and leadership.

The event will be on  Saturday, Feb.11th, 6:30 PM at the BCC, at 10 Cherry Brook Road. This function is open to the general public. Admission is a free-will donation. For information, call 434-6223.