Each year, from November 5th – 11th hundreds of commemorative ceremonies and events will take place across our country to commemorate Veterans’ Week. These are opportunities for all Canadians to recognize the contribution our Veterans and Military personnel have made and to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of Canada. There are so many ways to remember and honour our Veterans: wear a poppy; attend a local Remembrance Day cenotaph ceremony; thank a Veteran by sending a postcard for peace; talk to a friend or relative who served with the Canadian Armed Forces in areas of conflict; view the “Heroes Remember” videos and listen to Veterans talk about their experiences. Together, it is our duty to pass on our gratitude and keep the legacy and memories of our Canadian Veterans alive. Our deep military history and way of life recognizes the need for us to remember the sacrifices made by those who fought for our liberty, peace, security and freedom. This Veterans’ Week take time to remember them, and at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month take time out and observe a two minute moment of silence. This year I will be attending the Remembrance Day Ceremonies at the Oyster Pond cenotaph.

HRM can help some non-profit organizations reduce their level of property tax through the Tax Exemption for Non-Profit Organizations Program. It is available only to registered non-profit and charitable organizations located within HRM. NEW applicants must submit by the deadline of November 30, 2015 for the 2016 year. Visit www.halifax.ca/boardscom/bccgrants/TaxEx-

A reminder that it is mandatory for all previously registered entities already enrolled in this program to re-apply annually in order to maintain their tax exemption status. The deadline for RENEWALS is March 1, 2016. Late applications from renewals, after March 1st will be notified and may be pro-rated as of April 1, 2016 to deduct one day for each day late. If you have any further questions about getting tax relief for your community organization contact Peta-Jane Temple at templep@halifax.ca or phone 902-490-5469 or fax 902-490-5950. You may also call the HRM Contact service centre at 311.

Each year the municipality, the Mayor and Regional Council recognize the extraordinary contributions of individuals and groups who volunteer their time and skills to provide services and programs in HRM communities. Individuals or groups can be nominated by someone in their community by filling out the HRM Nomination Form. Please read the nomination criteria carefully before filling it out. The 2016 Award Nomination Forms are now available at: www.halifax.ca/volunteerservices/awards/index.php.

There are a few options for submitting a nominee:

  • either down-load a PDF form to print and complete and mail to:
    Volunteer Awards 2016 c/o Municipal Volunteer Services
    P.O. Box 1749, Halifax, NS B3J 3A5
  • or fax it to 902-490-3292
  • or deliver it personally to the
    Findlay Community Centre
    26 Elliot Street
  • or make a submission on-line.

The nominee cannot have received this award in the last 5 years. For a list of past recipients go to: www.halifax.ca/volunteerservices/awards or call 902-490-1573.

Nominate worthy individuals in the adult, youth or community group categories. If you would like a hard copy of the nomination application mailed to you, or if you require more information, contact Marilyn Smith at smithmar@halifax.ca.

Deadline for nomination is Friday, December 11th.

HRM is looking for citizens to serve on a number of municipal Advisory Boards and Committees. To review these opportunities please check out this web-page link: www.halifax.ca/boardscom/Volunteer.php. Apply by Sunday, November 8th, 2015.

One way that the municipality recognizes and supports its local volunteers is through its Annual HRM Volunteer Conference. This year marks the 15th year of providing valuable networking and learning opportunities for local volunteers. Volunteering contributes to public safety, fosters good neighbours and builds great neighbourhoods. The conference will be held on Friday & Saturday November 20th & 21st at the Dartmouth Harbourview Holiday Inn. If you have any questions about the conference please call Darren Hirtle at 902-490-4865, or visit hrmvolunteerservices@halifax.ca or check out the conference itinerary at: www.halifax.ca/volunteerservices/VolunteerConference.php

There is a snow removal program available to seniors (65 years of age or older) and for persons with disabilities throughout all areas of HRM. The program is NOT available to landlords. You must reside in a single dwelling home that you own or rent. Its mandate is to provide a resource to clients for the removal of snow for safe access. The program is limited to those households with a combined total income not exceeding $30,000. To make more enquiries about this program, please call the 311 HRM Contact Centre or the YMCA at 902-483-3678. Or go to these web-sites for further details: www.halifax.ca/snow/seniorssnow.php and/or www.ymcahrm.ns.ca and go to the Community Outreach Program section. Registration deadline is December 1st or sooner depending upon the demand. Applicants will be placed on a list based on a first come, first serve basis. So apply now before the snowfall.

14 DAYS IN DECEMBER – 23rd YEAR For 23 years now, the Peace in Our Communities – Gentle Ways Are Best campaign has been going on in our area. There will be peace tree lighting celebrations held during the first week of December at the Lake Echo Community Centre, Porters Lake Elementary School and Musquodoboit Harbour Railway Museum. For more information about this initiative, please go to: www.14days.ca.

Residents of HRM are invited to contribute to the 2016-17 Budget Consultation process by sharing thoughts on service priorities and how you’d like to see municipal tax dollars allocated. You can provide feedback through this on-line community engagement hub: www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/hfxtax. There you will find an on-line tool, the Budget Allocator, which provides a unique glimpse into the experience of balancing the city’s budget. It allows you to simulate adjusting the municipal tax dollars allocated to various services like transit, property development, parks, recreation, libraries, garbage collection, governance, fire and policing services and see the potential impact this has on both service delivery and the overall budget. How would you spend the current municipal budget? This on-line option is open from October until mid-November. If there’s sufficient demand to warrant an extension the survey process could continue on into early December.

INPUT ON HRM BUDGET DEBATES The general public will have an opportunity to speak directly with Regional Council as it deliberates the HRM 2016-17 Budget. There will be some dedicated public time at the end of each Committee of the Whole (COW) debate for citizens to comment on particular program subjects that are the topic of that particular Budget meeting. The list below is the proposed schedule for each of the business units & program services to present their respective budgets before HRM Council COW.

The meetings are scheduled on Wednesdays from 9:30 AM – 4 PM.

  • Revenue & Rate Direction: Tues. Oct. 20th
  • Priorities & Direction: Tues. Nov. 10th
  • Capital Budget: Wed. Dec. 2nd
  • Transit: Wed. Dec. 9th
  • Parks & Rec and Library: Wed. Jan. 6th
  • Capital return (if necessary): Wed. Jan 6th
  • Admin Services Bundle & Auditor General (CAO, Legal, HR & FICT): Wed. Jan 13th
  • Police, Fire, Plan & Develop: Wed. Jan 20th
  • Transportation & Public Works and Operations Support: Wed. Jan 27th
  • Fiscal & Consolidated Accounts: Wed. Feb 3rd; Follow-up date if necessary Wed. Feb 10th
  • Production & Quality Control: Feb 8th – 26th
  • Full Review of Final Budget Tues. Mar. 8th; Follow-up date if necessary Tues. Mar. 22nd

Dates could change due to inclement weather or Council demands on its schedule. Please check with the HRM Clerks Office at clerks@halifax.ca or call 311 for the most up to date Budget Debate listings.

To help make our communities safer and more energy efficient HRM is replacing all traditional high-pressure sodium street-lights with LED technology. HRM is responsible for more than 44,000 streetlights across the region. About 7,000 of those have already been converted to LEDs through spot replacements and smaller conversion projects. All remaining streetlights will be converted over an 18-month period starting in early October.

Once complete the conversion to LEDs will save the municipality approximately $5 million a year — savings that will fully fund the conversion work and continue to accrue after the project is paid for. GJ Cahill & Co. Ltd. in Dartmouth has been contracted to replace the streetlights, which are being supplied by a NS company – LED Roadway Lighting. The rural districts furthest from the urban core will be converted first, beginning with the streetlights in Districts 1 & 2. As they are replaced each LED streetlight will be equipped with adaptive technology installed by Silver Spring Networks. Once fully implemented the system will monitor the streetlights in real time and send alerts when maintenance is required, allowing the municipality to better manage streetlight maintenance and eliminating the need for residents to report outages. The old streetlight bulbs will be properly disposed of by Dan-X Recycling in Dartmouth, diverting that waste from the landfill and keeping harmful chemicals out of our environment.

Residents can follow the progress of this project using an on-line map. To view the map and find out more about the LED street-light conversion project, please visit: www.halifax.ca/traffic/LED/.