Happy Father's Day

Regional Council has approved its budgets for the 2015-16 fiscal year: $869 million operating and $135.8 million capital projects. This will equate to a residential tax rate increase of 1.1 cents, while the urban commercial tax rate drops by 4.4 cents and both transit tax rates decrease.

The general residential property taxation rates (per $100 of assessed value) will be set at:

  • $0.669 for the Urban area
  • $0.636 for the Suburban & Rural areas

The general Commercial property taxation rates on (per $100 of assessed value) will be set at:

  • $2.895 for the Urban & Suburban areas
  • $2.566 for the Rural area

Tax rates associated with Transit (per $100 of assessed value) will be set at:

  • $0.049 for the Regional Transportation tax rate
  • $0.102 for the Local Transit tax rate

The residential tax rate increase will enable new programs, services and infrastructure including:

  • a new four-pad arena complex in Dartmouth;
  • investment in our rural fire services;
  • Lake Banook / Mic Mac weed control;
  • construction of the second North Park roundabout and permanent pavilion building at the Emera Oval;
  • continued implementation of a five-year, $43 million investment in transit technology upgrades;
  • the removal of the localized area rates for the East Preston Rec Centre and the Lake & Shore Community Rec Centre. For more detailed information on the 2015-16 operating and project budgets visit www.halifax.ca/budget

The HRM Community Grants Program awards annual cash grants to registered non-profit organizations located within our municipality. The focus of these grants is primarily the provision of modest financial assistance to community-based volunteer initiatives. In 2015, the program received a total of 93 applications with a combined value of $957,017.73 in requests. It has been recommended by the HRM Grants Committee that Council approve 57 awards for a combined value of $374,387.00.

In our particular district the following organizations were recommended for grant awards but await final approval by HRM Council:

  • Eastern Shore Wildlife Association – A grant of $18,000 for the purchase and transport of materials to construct and install a fish weir on the West River, Sheet Harbour.
  • Atlantic Division Canoe-Kayak Canada – A grant of $15,000 towards the repairs to the Lake Banook  judges tower.
  • Lawrencetown Community Centre – A grant of $12,000 to purchase and install gas heating system.
  • Old School Community Gathering Place – Musquodoboit Harbour – A grant of $10,000 for the exterior painting of their heritage building.
  • Lake Charlotte Area Heritage Society – A grant of $5,000 for repairs to the Heritage Village – Clam Harbour Church belfry tower and roof.
  • Royal Canadian Legion Branch 161 – Eastern Marine – Gaetz Brook – A grant of $5,000 to  purchase and install heat pumps.
  • Black Artists Network of Nova Scotia (BANNS) – A grant of $5,000 for photography documentation and web-site development.
  • Sheet Harbour & Area Chamber of Commerce – A grant of $4,000 for a feasibility study and appraisal of a potential marina dock acquisition.
  • Harbour Lites New Horizons Club – Musquodoboit Harbour – A grant of $3,500 for building roof repair.
  • Musquodoboit Harbour Heritage Society – Railway Museum – A grant of $2,575 to fund chimney and railway station platform repairs.
  • Cole Harbour Rural Heritage Farm Society – A grant of $2,500 towards a signage project.

HRM is developing a plan for a regional open space network to protect our communities’ land and water resources. The Halifax Green Network Plan (HGNP) will serve as a blueprint to assist the municipality in determining why, where and how public and privately owned open space should be protected in the region.

A complete list of public events will be available on-line at www.halifax.ca/HalifaxGreenNetwork .
As well, there is an on-line interactive mapping tool and survey at https://engage.o2design.com/halifax/engage_map/  where residents can identify open spaces that are important to them and share information they think the municipality should consider in developing this plan.

Information will also be gathered and shared on the municipality’s on-line community engagement portal at https://shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/shape-your-city-halifax . All the feedback gathered will be used to help shape core objectives and implement directions, all of which will be presented to Regional Council in the Spring of 2016.

During this same week there will also be the Great Commuter Challenge, World Environment Day (June 5th), Clean Air Day (June 4th) and World Oceans Day (June 8th). For more information and details about Canadian Environment Week (CEW) visit: www.ec.gc.ca/sce-cew/ or on Twitter – #enviroweek2015 .

During CEW and throughout the year, we are urged to reflect on the many ways we can take action to protect and preserve our natural surroundings.  After that it will be “Rivers to Oceans Week“ which is an opportunity to work together to create an understanding of watersheds, our connection to fresh and salt-water environments and what everyone can do to protect and keep watersheds healthy for people and wildlife.

Residents are encouraged to participate in HRM`s Curbside Give Away Weekends – June 6th  & 7th and again on October 17th & 18th. Help discover the “Hidden Treasures” in your neighbourhood and our communities. HRM is looking for ideas on how to make this event even better! Please take a short survey at www.halifax.ca/surveys/index.html and your name will be entered into a draw for HRM prize packs, backyard composters and kitchen mini-bins or if you prefer to send comments by e-mail, drop a line at:  WasteLess@Halifax.ca


Residents across ALL of HRM should be advised of the upcoming summer weekly green cart collection service. Over the summer months of July and August, residents can place their Green Cart out for collection weekly, even if it’s not full. Upon completion of this summer service, collection will return to the regular bi-weekly green cart/garbage collection schedule.  Residents should refer to their 2015 Organics Green Cart and Garbage Collection Schedule for regular collection information. Residents are reminded to have their materials placed curb-side before 7 a.m. to ensure collection as times may vary. For more information, please visit our website at www.halifax.ca/recycle   Or call 3-1-1.

HRM is offering all swimming lessons, and Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, and junior lifeguard programs running at HRM’s supervised outdoor beaches free to the public for the upcoming summer session. Registration is required in order to take part in these classes. Registration will start at 10 AM on June 10th, and will continue until classes are filled.

You can register on-line at HRM’s “Rec Connect”: https://eservices2.halifax.ca/recconnect/Activities/ActivitiesAdvSearch.asp or call 490-6666.

Lifeguard supervision is from July 2nd to August 31st. HRM has a variety of beaches, lakes and outdoor pools. Our district has six locations:

  • Orenda Beach in Lake Echo
  • Kinap Beach in West Porters Lake
  • Pleasant Drive in Gaetz Brook
  • Old Government Wharf in West Petpeswick / Musquodoboit Harbour
  • Webber’s Beach in Lake Charlotte / Upper Lakeville
  • Malay Falls Beach in Lochaber Mines / Sheet Harbour.

All of these have some level of HRM supervision including daily maintenance and weekly water testing. For more information, please call HRM Beach Line 490-5458 or go on-line to www.halifax.ca/rec/Beaches.html . Have fun in the sun but be safe when in the water.

The Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society and Heritage Canada National Trust are pleased to announce THIS LIGHTHOUSE MATTERS, a crowd-sourced fundraising competition that will be launched this summer.  Over the last year the two organizations, together with their team of Champions – the Hon. Myra Freeman, the Hon. Margaret McCain, the late Jalynn Bennett, and Jane Nicholson – have raised over $275,000 for Nova Scotia lighthouses that will be distributed via this unique competition.

THIS LIGHTHOUSE MATTERS is an innovative crowd-sourced fundraising competition to provide community groups who are struggling to save their lighthouses the opportunity to compete for cash prizes and to raise money and awareness for their projects.  Please get in touch with their team to discuss any questions or comments you have about THIS LIGHTHOUSE MATTERS at:  thislighthousematters@heritagecanada.org

Each year, HRM presents a Citizenship Award to outstanding Grade 9 students throughout the municipality. The recipients are chosen based on qualities of leadership in their school and community, and commendable performance in the courses in which they are enrolled.

In 2015, the following students from our district were bestowed with this honour:

  • Dylan Logan from Duncan MacMillan High School;
  • Dylan Walsh from Gaetz Brook Junior High School;
  • Emma Sanders from  Oyster Pond Academy and
  • Kardeisha Provo from Ross Road School.

Great job by these outstanding students !

At this time I wish to congratulate all High School, Community College, and University Students on your achievement of graduating. Special recognition goes out this year to Eastern Shore District High School that will be marking its 50th Graduation Class. Go Schooners !

May each of you have many life successes and best of luck in your future endeavours.  Be sure to have a Safe Grad and a happy life ahead.