HRM is now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 Community Grants Program. The deadline for applying is March 31st, 2016. Application forms and program guidebooks are available on-line, by calling 311, at one of HRM’s Citizen Contact Centres or at my district office.

The HRM Community Grants Program provides annual cash grants to registered non-profit organizations and charities located throughout HRM. There are two types of grants:

  1. A project grant of up to $5,000 and
  2. A capital grant of 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.

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

Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Services (HRFES) has a new recruit selection process. This is the first time since 2007 that they have launched a recruitment drive for new career firefighters. The current initiative has been months in the making and reflects a new approach aimed at removing barriers for those who want a career as a firefighter.

HRFES is interested in attracting potential applicants who might otherwise not have pursued a career in firefighting. Application requirements have been changed in an effort to reduce barriers for potential applicants. They are elim-
inating the need for post-secondary certification and removing all costs previously incurred by applicants at various phases of the selection process. Past recruitment fees were upwards of $1,000. Requirements are:

• Be 18 or older at the time of the application;

• Grade 12 education or equivalent;

• NS Class 5 Driver’s Licence (or equivalent from another province) with a safe and responsible driving record;

• Criminal record check with no job-related convictions of a criminal offence for which a pardon has not been granted;

• Ability to communicate clearly in English (oral and written form) under demanding, high-pressure situations; and

• Legally entitled to work in Canada.

The hiring process includes aptitude testing, physical abilities testing and a panel interview. Volunteer Fire Service time will be recognized and given extra bonus scoring. If you are community minded, highly motivated, physically fit,
and a team player, then HRFES want you to consider becoming a firefighter. For more information on how to apply, visit www.halifax.ca/fire.


The general public will have opportunities to hear and learn more about Case #19800 – a proposed Construction & Debris (C&D) processing facility on Highway #7 in Porters Lake on Wednesday and Saturday, March 2nd & 5th from 1–4 P.M. and 6–9 P.M. each day. For more details about this planning application visit: www.halifax.ca/planning/appli-
cations/Case19800Details.php or go to one of the Public Information Meetings (PIM’s).


HRM has released two more new data sets as part of an ongoing commitment to increase transparency and public access to municipal government information. Building permit records from 2003 to present and LIDAR Digital Surface Model (DSM) data are now available through the municipal open data catalogue hosted at https://catalogue.hrm.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets.

The addition of these two sets brings the total number of open data sets to 35. A wide range of data can be sourced for free through the catalogue, including: transit route and schedule data, solid waste collection areas and schedules, parking meter and zoning information, crime statistics, trail and park locations and more. HRM’s Open Data Catalogue is powered by the Esri’s ArcGIS Open Data platform, which has enhanced API functionality for geospatial datasets and allows for filtering by map extents and attributes prior to downloading, so that you only download what you need.

The Open Data Initiative was first launched by HRM in early 2014 to help improve citizen engagement and enhance transparency and accountability to residents. For more information on the HRM Open Data program please visit www.halifax.ca/opendata. Now the Province has followed suit and launched their own Open Data portal, making more than 130 provincial government data collections available to individuals, researchers and entrepreneurs. The provincial portal has data for weather, traffic volumes, tender awards, civic addresses, maps, historical vital statistics, angling and fish stocking records and more. The information appears in accessible, easy-to-work-with formats and contains some data that was once only available for a fee. No personal or identifying information will be released. Go to: www.data.novascotia.ca/.

Halifax Regional Council has approved an annual grant of $6,400, renewable up to five years, to be paid to Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores (DEANS) beginning this year and continuing through the 2020–2021 fiscal year. The grant will be paid through Destination Halifax, and they must sign an agreement on how the grant gets spent and reported on. Support for DEANS promotes the Eastern Shore and Northumberland Shore as unique destinations, assists members with marketing opportunities, and leverages strategic partnerships to benefit the industry and development of the destinations.

DEANS goals include:

  • increasing tourist visitation to the Eastern Shore and the Northumberland Shore;
  • providing quality membership services and programs;
  • increasing awareness, recognition and appreciation of tourism as a significant economic contributor to our area;
  • and maintaining a solid and sustainable financial base for its operations.

DEANS seeks to implement marketing programs to generate a measurable return; promote local tourism to Atlantic Canada, concentrating on Halifax, Moncton, North Sydney (Newfoundland ferry) and Charlottetown corridors; and to promote us to the New England States in partnership with Tourism NS.


The Halifax Green Network Plan (HGNP) is an Open Space and Greenbelt Priorities Plan for the Region. It is under development to advance HRM objectives for open space conservation in accordance with the new Regional Plan. The HGNP is anticipated for completion early summer 2016.

The planning approach is regionally comprehensive and integrated across ecological, economic, and socio-cultural values. The HGNP will identify a landscape pattern and decision-making framework for conserving a regional green network that supports high value open space resources using multiple implementation tools. The public engagement program for this extends across 3 core project phases:

Phase I—Foundations, concluded in October 2015. A report was submitted to HRM Community Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee and Regional Council on the State of the Landscape. The report identifies values, issues, and opportunities relative to 5 core themes—Ecosystems, Working Landscapes, Communities, Recreation & Trails, and Cultural Landscapes.

Phase II—Planning Framework, is underway and will include multiple avenues for stakeholder groups and citizens across the Region to participate. Phase II engagement begins with two stakeholder workshops which will bring together government, community, development, and natural resource groups to provide cross-sector input into the preparation of green network scenarios. The learnings from these sessions will help shape a preliminary green network planning framework, which will be presented to the broader public for input in April and then to Council for consideration and approval.

Local Input sessions will be held on:

Monday, April 4th from 6:30–9:00 P.M. at Auburn Drive High School in Westphal;

Tuesday, April 5th, 6:00–8:30 P.M. at Middle Musquodoboit Bicentennial Theatre (TBC);

Wednesday, April 6th, 6:00–7:30 P.M. at Sheet Harbour Lions Centre;

and Thursday, April 7th, 6:30–9:00 P.M. at the Eastern Shore District High School in Musquodoboit Harbour.
Phase III—Draft and Final Plan, will begin following HRM Council’s direction from Phase II and will lead to the drafting of a final Plan for public input and consideration in early summer 2016.

More details about HGNP and mapping at:


Please contact Holly Richardson, HRM Policy Coordinator Parks & Recreation at (902) 490-6889 or richarh@halifax.ca with questions or comments.