The Provincial Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP) provides help to low-income Nova Scotians with the cost of home heating. You qualify for this program if you pay a heating bill for oil, propane, or electricity at your current residence and meet ONE of the following criteria:
• live alone with an income of $27,000 or less;
• live with others and have a combined household income
of $42,000 or less;
• receive Income Assistance from the Department of
Community Services, or;
• receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement from Service

If your personal or financial situation has changed since last year, you still may qualify. Examples of changes include becoming widowed, getting divorced or legally separated, losing your job, or having the custody of your children change. Contact Service Nova Scotia to find out if you qualify. Please find the HARP 2016-17 application form at:

Rebates range from $100 to $200. You must apply by March 31st.

The HomeWarming – Low-Income Program is a free program to help low-income Nova Scotians save money on heating bills and feel more comfortable in their homes. HomeWarming offers no-charge energy assessments and home upgrades to income-qualified homeowners. If an efficiency audit determines that upgrades will help reduce heating and power bills, they will be installed at no cost to the homeowner.

Clean Foundation and Efficiency Nova Scotia are working together to offer these free energy efficiency improvements. Clean Foundation looks after electrically heated homes, while Efficiency Nova Scotia takes care of houses with non-electric heat sources. The program is supported by NS Power and the NS Government.

More information is available online at www.HomeWarming.ca, or you can contact a Service Advisor about program eligibility by e-mail to Sonia Smith – outreach@homewarming.ca or by calling 902-818-1926 or 1-877-434-2136. Application deadline is March 31st.

The Salvation Army Good Neighbour Energy Fund is an emergency heating program available to Nova Scotian families who meet their criteria. This program, which is administered by The Salvation Army, receives its funds from Nova Scotia Power Inc., NSP employees and customers, and the Provincial Government.

Applicants are now able to re-apply every 24 months to the program, which runs annually from January 15th through April 15th. If you are in an emergency home heating situation please download the application form or pick one up from your local Salvation Army church or thrift store. They are also available at my district office and our local MLA offices. The 2017 GNEF application will go online in early January. Please check this link: www.salvationarmy.ca/maritime/ gnef/.

FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS FUND HRM supports events that build community, foster good community relations, support culture, develop local economy and tourism industry, and enrich the quality of life of all residents and visitors.

The 2016 Festival & Event Grant Applications are now available for community-based events. Preference will be given to events that are free to the public, are run by not-for-profit organizations, and have a broad appeal. Application deadline is 12 Noon on Friday, January 27th. An application form can be mailed to you.

For further details, contact HRM Civic Events Coordinator Paul Forrest by e-mail: forrestp@halifax.ca or call 902- 490-6979 or fax 902-490-5950 or go to: www.halifax.ca/ events/grants/index.php.

Property Assessment Notices will be mailed out on January 13th. There is an official 31-day appeal period from that date, whereby property owners can review and perhaps refute their appraisals. If you disagree with your assessment contact the NS Municipality Agency – Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) and speak with an Assessment Services representative.

The PVSC Assessment Office is located at Park Place Two, 238-A Brownlow Avenue, Suite 200, Dartmouth, NS, B3B 2B4. Telephone: 902-720-7872, Toll-Free: 1-800-667-5727, Fax: 902-720-7873.

Property owners are encouraged to call and talk to an Assessor prior to appealing an assessment to answer any questions and possibly avoid the time and expense of filing an appeal. If you still wish to make a formal appeal, it must be in writing and must be received by their office on or before the deadline date. Appeals by e-mail are not accepted.

For more details, please refer to your notice or the PVSC Appeal Guide at: www.pvsc.ca/site/media/PVSC/Documents/Appeal%20 Brochure%20December%202012_final.pdf. For more information about property valuation please go to: www.PVSC.ca.

HRM Fire & Emergency Service wants to remind all citizens that numerous fires occur every year within HRM due to the improper disposal of ashes from fuel burning appliances such as wood stoves, fire places, pellet stoves and wood furnaces. Never discard ashes into your green bin or other plastic containers or cardboard boxes. Ashes should be placed in a metal can with a tight fitting lid and stored outside the home, away from structures and other combustibles. Ashes can smolder for several days and re-ignite.

For more helpful information about fireplaces, wood stoves and fire safety throughout the year contact the Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency division of Fire Prevention at 902-490-5546. For more Fire Prevention Safety Information tips go to: www.halifax. ca/fireprevention/FireSafetyInformation.php. Please keep warm & safe this winter.

There will be an opportunity to see a presentation about the proposed renovations for the HRM Access Service Centre, Fitness Room and Library on Wednesday, January 25th from 4 – 7PM at the Village Plaza program room of the Main Library.

The Federal Department of Canadian Heritage (DCH) has a Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage (BCAH) Program.

Does your community organize a local festival? There are three intake period deadlines for applications under the Local Festivals component of the BCAH program: January 31st, April 30th and September 30th.

Is there a significant local anniversary in our municipality or your community in 2017? If the anniversary marks a 100th anniversary or greater, in increments of 25 years (e.g., 125th, 150th) and commemorates a significant local historical event or pays tribute to a significant local historical personality, consider applying to the Community Anniversaries component of BCAH. The deadline is also January 31st.

For details email pch.enligne-online.pch@ canada.ca or call 1-866-811-0055.

The Legacy Fund component provides funding for community capital projects that commemorate significant anniversaries and involve the restoration, renovation, or transformation of existing buildings and/or exterior spaces with local community significance. As well, the Legacy Fund component encourages arts and heritage activities in communities, which are intended for and accessible to the general public.

For more details about the Legacy Program e-mail PCH.bcah-dcap.PCH@canada.ca or call 1-866-811- 0055. For general information about the BCAH program visit: canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1455310870059/14553109 44929.

December 6, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. To commemorate this tragic event and ensure it is not forgotten, the NS Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage, in partnership with HRM and other partners, have developed a year-long marketing and awareness campaign entitled “100 Years, 100 Stories”. It will include a website with marketing and promotions around the 100th anniversary commemoration. They are collecting stories about the Explosion that will be featured throughout the campaign.

Do you have a story connected to the Halifax Explosion or know someone who does? Stories could involve Halifax or another area of the province and could be stories of loss, support, assistance, bravery, etc. Please submit story ideas to: Colin.Campbell@ novascotia.ca. While not all stories collected through this process will be used, and some may be combined with other related material, your assistance and contribution is greatly appreciated.

Visit 100years100stories.ca/ for more about the 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.