HRM is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Community Grants Program. The deadline for applying is March 31st, 2015. Application forms and program guidebooks are available for viewing and printing at: www.halifax.ca/boardscom/bccgrants/documents/CommGrantsProgram2015-16_WebVersion.pdf  or by calling 311 or from one of HRM’s Citizen Contact Centres.

The HRM Community Grants Program is a centralized program that provides annual cash grants to registered non-profit organizations and charities located throughout HRM. There are two types of grants: (1) a project grant up to $5,000, and (2) a capital grant up to $25,000. Grants are one-time and project-specific within the following funding sectors:  Environment; Recreation & Leisure; Affordable & Supportive Housing; Emergency Assistance; Neighborhood Safety; Community History; Community Diversity; and Arts & Crafts.

For information about these categories, go to: www.halifax.ca/boardscom/bccgrants/CommunityGrantsProgram.html.

HRM has a variety of programs to aid homeowners with their property tax obligations. There are various options for payment plans, property tax rebates, or deferral of property taxes (payment is put off to a later date.)  A homeowner with a local improvement charge (LIC) can also apply for a deferral of these charges. It is important that you know what choices exist. Please refer to this guide for more details:  https://www.halifax.ca/taxes/exemption/documents/Newsletter2014-15.pdf. Some of these programs are available to homeowners with a combined annual household income of $32,000 or less.  Application deadline is March 31st, 2015.

HRM’s Animal Control By-Law A-300 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. If you obtain your dog before September 30th, you must pay the full licensing fee. If you obtain your dog after September 30th, you pay a pro-rated fee. There are discounted license fees for seniors, as well for any dog that has been spayed or neutered. There is no fee for Special Aid Personal Assistance Dogs. There is also a special rate for any dog that is deemed to be “Dangerous.”

License Type Full Year Pro-rated Part of Year Special Cases Rate
Standard    Senior   Standard       Senior Personal Aid Dog N/C – no charge
Unaltered    $50            $25    $33.35           $16.67 Dangerous Dog $100
Spayed/Neutered    $15            $7.50    $10                $5 Replacement Tag $5

You can license your dog or renew a license either 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.  For license renewals only you can pay with a credit card by calling the HRM Contact Centre at 311 or 1-800-835-6428 (NS toll-free). Pet owners found to be in violation of HRM By-Law A-300 licensing regulations may be issued a warning notice or be issued a Summary Offense Ticket of $342.41 or greater; and/or could have their dog seized by Animal Services and face further prosecution in court. For more details go to: https://www.halifax.ca/animalservices/PetLicensing.php.

The eighth biennial Camp Courage will be held from July 12th to July 19th.  It is a free police, fire, and paramedic training camp that informs and educates young women about these non-traditional professions but most importantly inspires them to reach their potential.  Participants will receive instruction in and opportunities to practice self defense, CSI & medical response techniques, fire suppression, climbing 100′ ladders, repelling and so much more.  Interested young women between the ages of 15-19 years old are required to write an essay on how they would improve the life of someone less fortunate or how they can improve their community at large.  The essay deadline is March 31st, 2015.  There are only 24 spots available. The camp is often described by past graduates as “the best experience of my life,” and many graduates are now employed in the emergency service professions.  The exciting outcome is that everyone leaves the camp with greater confidence and passion for life – that’s a great legacy from just eight days!  For more information go to: www.campcourage.ca,  or contact Andréa Speranza, Founder/Executive Director, at 902-488-1188.

The Province has changed the way domestic brush burning is permitted. People will no longer need a provincial permit to burn brush. The permit has been replaced with an on-line burning restrictions map to inform Nova Scotians when burning is allowed.  Restricted brush burning will start on March 15th. The on-line map is at www.novascotia.ca/burnsafe.  It will ensure everyone knows the risks of wildfire in all areas of the 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. Call BurnSafe toll-free 1-855-564-2876. These changes affect brush burning on domestic properties such as rural residential lots, woodlots, fishing camps and cottage lots.  Commercial/Industrial brush burning still requires a permit from a DNR office.  Be sure to follow all instructions and rules of conduct as outlined on the website and please be respectful of your neighbours when you want to burn.

The nomination deadline for the Order of Nova Scotia (ONS) is March 20th, 2015.  The ONS recognizes Nova Scotians for outstanding contributions to their communities. NS citizens are encouraged to nominate someone they feel has made a significant contribution. Nomination forms are available at Access Nova Scotia Centres throughout the province. For more information call the NS Protocol Office – One Government Place, Barrington Level, 1700 Granville Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1X5. Telephone: 902-424-2467 Fax: 902-424-4309 E-mail: orderofnovascotia@gov.ns.ca  or check the ONS website: https://gov.ns.ca/iga/order.asp.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award celebrates the power, strength and diversity of vibrant communities across Nova Scotia.  It profiles their achievements and increases their visibility through a formal recognition program. Up to four Nova Scotian communities are honoured each year. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee based on community applications that best fit the award’s criteria. Communities selected for the award promote citizen engagement, civic pride and a positive outlook on the future. Should your community be selected for the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award, it will be honoured through celebration and recognition. The Lieutenant Governor will attend a community celebration, presenting an award hand-crafted in Nova Scotia that stays in the community and unveiling a sign for display. There will be province-wide public recognition through media. Join in on celebrating the strengths of your community by submitting a nomination! Contact Lorna Kennedy by phone: 902-424-5793 or by e-mail: lorna.kennedy@novascotia.ca. For more details on this program please go to: https://cch.novascotia.ca/investing-in-our-future/community-spirit-award.  All completed application and submissions must be e-mailed to: communityspiritaward@gov.ns.ca, faxed to 902-424-0710 or mailed to NS Communities, Culture & Heritage, Attention: Community Spirit Award, P.O. Box 456, Halifax, NS B3J 2R5. Deadline for submissions is midnight of March 27th, 2015.