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Report card answers 

We emailed a batch of questions to every council member. Here are their complete answers. Or incomplete. Or completely missing.

Who are you? Dawn Marie Sloane

What district do you represent? District 12 Halifax-Downtown

How long have you served as a HRM councillor? 6 years 7 months and 16 days (May 18th is the present day)Won in 2000 and then re-elected in 2004

Please state your opinion/musings on the following municipal issues.

The Twisted Sisters

I was one of the 5 who voted against the project as it doesn*t conform to the Municipal Planning Strategy for the area. As one of 3 Councillors serving on the Urban Design Task Force, I realize the need for our municipality to look closely at the building designs for the Downtown. Mass, scale, density, streetscape, and integrative design must not be second rate. Halifax and the municipality as a whole deserve good design practices so we do not end up with a bleak un-walkable downtown.

This is the area that residents must consider our showcase for retail, cultural, governmental and financial capital. It must be treated with the same level of class that one might expect to find in all the major cities of the world. Heritage should be preserved and new designs should ideally serve as a compliment.

Our downtown is a unique challenge for development as it is built on a slope. With this in mind, perhaps we need to consider a larger footprint for the downtown and expand outside the now designated downtown boundaries. Using other cities like New York as examples—utilizing the entire peninsula. Designs like the *Twisted Sisters* wouldn*t be so highly contested if we all thought outside the box. We have many large tracts of land available on the peninsula where such structures wouldn*t compete with the old city.

The 2006 Concert on the Common (Rolling Stones)

As the Councillor who*s district hosted the event, I have made and heard many comments on the concert and the venue. Primarily, the residents surround the Commons were concerned with the lack of consultation by HRM. Although there were several notification mail-outs prior to the day of the concert, and a phone line for the residents to call if they had inquiries, the residents still had fears about vandalism to their property, parking issues, accessibility to the Commons/sidewalks, and noise from the construction and breakdown of the staging. HRM staff worked to mitigate their concerns and were on site so if a resident had a concern, we could deal with it immediately.

Future Concerts on the Common

Council voted to allow two concerts per year on the Common. Like any first time experience, HRM has gained a better understanding of hosting a large concert. With that being said, I hope the issues that I noted above are brought to the forefront in the planning of another concert.

The Commonwealth Games

Blame directly falls on the Federal Government for not stepping up to the challenge of financing the games. It was a horrible reflection on our city to be caught offguard about that unexpected jump in the proposed budget. Like all cities in Canada, we need aid for large infrastructure projects like this. Just look at our Harbour Solutions! It should be secondary not advanced primary within the harbour.

Downtown video surveillance cameras (pizza corner, for example)

Cameras are the best witnesses as they are objective. Some people say it*s an invasion of privacy. I say they are the perfect witness to a crime.

The Chebucto Road Widening project

This plan contradicts the Regional Plan. We should be investing in more transit park and rides and alternative modes of transportation. When gasoline hits 7 dollars a litre and you can*t afford to drive in from the suburbs, what will this municipality do then? Invest in the future by investing in transit, ferries and stop destroying the stable neighbourhoods.

The Fast Ferry

Sooner than later! The Federal Government must help us with this endeavour.

Commuter rail from Bedford

All for it! And from Windsor too! Let*s use the resources we have before they are torn up by CN

Grand Parade parking

For 7 years I have been working on this issue. Citizens from all over the municipality want this to be a reality. This should be a showcase green space for the urban residents and for those who work downtown. We use the area for special events now, so let*s make sure that it can be utilized more! Have acoustic concerts at lunch time. Get the people out of their cubicles and make it a lunch time destination.

The Harbour Solutions Project

This should have been secondary treatment in the harbour portion of the project. It will cost the citizens more to upgrade this system.

The former Infirmary site at Queen and Spring Garden

We need to move on this immediately. This is a wonderful area for the new library, mixed use and a events plaza. We also need to move immediately on the two parking lots on Clyde St. New businesses want to move into the area.

The Cogswell Interchange

This needs immediate attention. In fact, get me a pick axe! This is a huge track of land that has so much potential for the Downtown. The vacancy for large office space is very low, thus the need to expand the office space downtown northerly is an obvious option. We need a public private partnership to remove the interchange, and realign the street grid, build new office space with possibly a new Metro Centre.

Bike lanes

We need a bike plan that is not going to take forever to implement. The bike route on the peninsula should be a priority. Again, gas is becoming too expensive and we should be fostering alternative methods of transportation.

I saw on the news last night that Montreal is expanding their bike routes and are thinking of using tolls into their downtown to fund the need for expanded infrastructure. Interesting concept, but HRM may not be ready for that approach.

Exportation of municipal waste

No, deal with our own solid waste.

The Graffiti Management Plan

I don*t agree with making the victims of graffiti responsible for its cleanup. We should designate areas like the power station site where people can practice their art, and if they area caught tagging or vandalizing via graffiti elsewhere, the culprit should have to pay for the removal, clean up litter and be barred from purchasing or being in the possession of paint.

Where in the city do you currently reside? Downtown

How do you travel to work? I work from home and meet people at different locations in my district. I own a Civic.

What is your favourite bus route, and why? The 1! Takes you to and through the Downtown!

Have you traveled outside of Halifax in the past year? If so, where? Yes, London, England, Dublin, Ireland, Burbank, California and New York (all personal trips)

Other than Halifax, do you have a favourite city? Dublin

At this moment in history, what do you consider the biggest challenges facing Halifax?

Urban sprawl has taken a toll on the municipality. We must start thinking about the future of our infrastructure needs and the repopulation of the peninsular area. If we do not start working towards the requirements to sustain the urban core, the economic engine of the municipality, then Halifax will keep struggling with it*s civic pride, ability to provide a good quality of life for all, and our ability to retain businesses and people.

If I were not an HRM Councillor, I would be working in information technology or civil engineering office as a draftsperson

If I were Mayor, I would continue lobbying for changes to the Municipal Government Act like Peter Kelly has done so HRM could have a City Charter like the City of Vancouver so Halifax could have more autonomy from the Provincial Government.

Who are you? GARY MEADE

What district do you represent? HAMMONDS PLAINS/ST.MARGARETS

How long have you served as a HRM councillor? 6 1/2 YEARS PLUS 8 YEARS AS HALIFAX COUNTY COUNCIL

Please state your opinion/musings on the following municipal issues.

The Twisted Sisters I FAVOUR

The 2006 Concert on the Common (Rolling Stones) START OF MANY CONCERTS

Future Concerts on the Common SHARE WITH ALL HRM

The Commonwealth Games GONE

Downtown video surveillance cameras (pizza corner, for example) IT WILL HELP OUR POLICE

The Chebucto Road Widening project IT HAS BEEN ON THE "TO DO LIST" SINCE 1960

The Fast Ferry COST ???

Commuter rail from Bedford NOT AFFORDABLE

Grand Parade parking NO PROBLEM IN MOVING

The Harbour Solutions Project LONG OVER DUE.

The former Infirmary site at Queen and Spring Garden NEW LIBRARY SITE

The Cogswell Interchange IT WORKS,LEAVE AS IS.





How do you travel to work? CAR

What is your favourite bus route, and why? HAVE NOT BEEN ON A BUS SNCE 1971

Have you travelled outside of Halifax in the past year? If so, where? ST.MARGARETS BAY,EVERY DAY

Other than Halifax, do you have a favourite city? NO

At this moment in history, what do you consider the biggest challenges facing Halifax? AFFORTABLE TAXES

If I were not an HRM coucillor, I would be a __________. HISTORY TEACHER

If I were Mayor, I would _________. DRIVE A SMART CAR.

Who are you? Andrew Younger

What district do you represent? East Dartmouth - The Lakes

How long have you served as a HRM councillor? Since October 2004

The Twisted Sisters

I voted in favour of this project and continue to be supportive of it. Council can only make decisions on whether a project reasonably meets the municipal planning strategy. It is not a vote on whether one personally likes the project or not. I felt it met the planning strategy in both intent and wording. Clearly the public was evenly divided on this project. Nonetheless, I am very supportive of preserving existing heritage buildings, but I am not supportive of Disneyworld-like buildings that try to (often badly) mimic heritage buildings of the past. I am supportive of the view planes from Citadel Hill which this building is not in. Let's not forget this site was a parking garage and was an empty hole. The closest it comes to any heritage buildings is the back of buildings on Barrington Street. Those facades have all but lost any original heritage characteristics. Tall buildings should not be avoided. The public overwhelmingly supported the Regional Plan wish pushes for higher densities in the Capital District. Tall buildings will be necessary to meet this plan.

The 2006 Concert on the Common (Rolling Stones)

I think this concert went extremely well. I voted in favour of using the site for a concert, but I did not vote in supportive of contributing municipal dollars, even if from the hotel levy, to this project. The concert, by all accounts was successful for businesses and residents, I have yet to be convinced however of the validity of using municipal dollars to subsidize such events.

Future Concerts on the Common

I believe the Commons makes a good site for future concerts. Over the years the Commons has had many uses including as space for hospitals, schools, commercial farmers to graze their animals, private and public events, sports use, and mega events such as the visit of the Pope. There is merit in future commercial concerts on the site given there is arguably a public benefit through economic development, and many residents choose to attend the concerts. It is however important to limit the number of concerts in a given year (or any closed / ticketed events for that matter) and to really consider whether public funds should be involved in such an event.

The Commonwealth Games

This was a very simple decision in my view. The games themselves made sense, but the cost did not. At the end of the day despite the potential for new and improved recreation infrastructure, new and improved municipal infrastructure (roads, transit, etc), and cultural benefits the funding for the games was hundreds of millions of dollars short. I said from day one that I would not support a municipal contribution above $200 million and I would not support the municipality being responsible for any deficit. These conditions were not met, and I committed to residents that I would only support a bid meeting those conditions, so I could not support the bid. At the end of the day, I believe even beyond financial issues, secrecy is what killed this bid. The lack of open and frank discussion with the public made it something many people could simply not support.

Downtown video surveillance cameras (pizza corner, for example)

I have strongly supported surveillance cameras in public spaces since before being elected. I believe there is merit in security cameras, not only downtown, but throughout HRM in high traffic areas. A council approved, public, policy for their use must be in place and the public must know the footage would be destroyed after a given period of time if no crime was reported. I recently spent time in the UK looking at the security camera network in that country and the difference it has made to communities and the ability for police to solve crimes is significant. Cameras by themselves do not necessarily reduce crime, but they are proven to make people feel safer and it is the job of council to ensure the public feels safe.

The Chebucto Road Widening project

I am opposed to the Chebucto Road Widening project and have been since I first heard of it. I do not believe there is merit in many road widening projects because there is little incentive for people to take alternate transportation methods. In fact, in many cases I am in favour of not making it easier to drive as the automatic first response to traffic issues. We have relatively fast commutes as it is compared to most cities in North America and around the world. Our driving times for most commuters are less than even subway and other high speed commuter options in other cities. As it becomes more difficult to drive, either through time or cost, more people will choose transit which allows transit to be expanded and improved. Widening roads just encourages people to stay in their cars.

The Fast Ferry

If provincial and federal cost sharing is included this project makes a lot of sense. Despite it's relatively high price tag, there is no need to widen roads, and the harbour will always be there as a natural highway. The ferry avoid congestion and offers an alternative to travel by road bringing more people to public transit. Cities like Sydney, Australia, have many ferry routes, some fast, some slow, and make excellent use of their harbours. In the future I would like to see a ferry network, of different types and sizes of ferries, servicing various points along the harbour, but also outside, beyond the harbour as well.

Commuter rail from Bedford

While a variety of transit options is important, rail really is not going to work. The initial costs are prohibitive and with limited lines coming into the city, slow downs at the port or with Via Rail have the potential to cause delays on the line. Delays already happen in places with shared rail like Toronto. Further, connections are still required from the train terminal into the central downtown area. Rail also does not allow for flexibility over time in locations and stops. We need transit options, but this one doesn't seem to make financial sense.

Grand Parade parking

I haven't ever voted for parking on Grand Parade and in fact, since the day I was elected I voted every time against continuing parking on Grand Parade. I believe the space should be an open public space and no parking by anyone should be permitted from end to end.

The Harbour Solutions Project

This is one of the most important projects in the municipality. I look forward to the day the treatment plants are upgraded to secondary treatment, however, I believe even the current system will make a huge difference in the lives of those who spend time for any reason near or on the harbour. Environmental protection and action should be among our very top priorities. The fact that this project remains overall on budget and on time is particularly important as it shows council can manage a huge project, full of construction price risk, without huge cost overruns like have been seen in so many other cities.

The former Infirmary site at Queen and Spring Garden

The recently released study on this site is exciting. I am sad to see this area still sitting as a parking lot for so long, but excited about the possibilities the future will bring including retail, residential, and public space. As a likely site for a new central library, combined with a residential component, many more people will be brought to the Spring Garden and downtown areas which will provide a major boost for business viability in the area.

The Cogswell Interchange

The Cogswell Interchange should be removed. It was the end of a highway that never existed and should never have been conceived. The land should be redeveloped as a municipal priority.

Bike lanes

Real bike lanes are good and all new arterial and collector roads should have bike lanes on them. However, I am less than impressed by the posting of signs that inform people to Share The Road or that a particular street is a Bike Route, when the street is narrow and a bike rider would never win out in a conflict for road usage with a car. I recognize it is difficult to retrofit older roads that aren't built to today's standards, however this should not be an excuse. We should do everything we can to promote alternate transportation such as bike and foot traffic, but simply putting up signs without putting in proper marked routes is little more than lip service.

Exportation of municipal waste

The exportation of municipal waste should be able to be regulated fully by municipalities. HRM residents made the hard decisions to have in place a model solid waste system. It would be hard to continue to make improvements in recycling and waste avoidance programs if exportation is permitted. The province should immediately pass whatever legislation is required to ensure municipalities can fully regulate this area of solid waste collection.

The Grafitti Management Plan

I support moving ahead with a by-law to require private property to clean up graffiti. However, I do not believe such a by-law should be enacted until the municipality is able to live up to it's own commitment for the removal of graffiti. Currently HRM is not meeting it's own standards for removal of graffiti on bus shelters and other municipal property. We cannot expect others to meet a standard we are unwilling to meet ourselves.

Where in the city do you currently reside? East Dartmouth

How do you travel to work?

It really depends on where the meeting is and what time it is scheduled for. Usually by car, occasionally by bus although the connections around my house aren't that good so it isn't very practical, sometimes by foot as a number of meetings are within a relatively short distance of my house (schools, parks, etc), and starting in June by bike for at least some of my meetings (would be sooner, but my bike was stolen a couple of years ago and I am only just replacing it now)

What is your favourite bus route, and why?

The number 10. My wife uses it to travel to work, and I used it quite a bit during university and growing up in Dartmouth. It's an extremely useful route that takes you from one side of Dartmouth to the other side of pennisular Halifax.

Have you travelled outside of Halifax in the past year? If so, where?

Yes, I travelled to St. Lucia over Christmas for a short vacation and London, England in early December due to a death in the family. Also traveled to Portland, Maine and Bar Harbour, Maine for a long weekend in the summer.

Other than Halifax, do you have a favourite city?

Sydney, Australia. In my short time in that city before being elected I found it to be a very clean and friendly city that mixed old and new architecture well. Most importantly, the city makes efficient use of transit, specifically using the harbour to get people around from all over the city.

At this moment in history, what do you consider the biggest challenges facing Halifax?

The scandals and lack of trust in politics at the federal and provincial levels over the past couple of years has had a ripple effect in municipal politics across the country. This has made it harder to keep focused on the things that matter to residents and taxpayers. In the next year the greatest challenge will be developing a tax system that is seen to be fair because with almost any change someone wins and someone loses. Municipal government must be and be seen to be open and transparent and not lose sight of the things that are important.

If I were not an HRM coucillor, I would be a __________.

Documentary film maker, like I was prior to being elected.

If I were Mayor, I would _________.

ensure council and the municipal government is and is seen to be open and transparent. We should, as a municipality, default to openness and secrecy and confidentiality, while sometimes necessary, should be the exception rather than the rule. In allowing secrecy, we sometimes end up allowing false information about municipal government and municipal initiatives to become assumed to be accurate by the public.

Bob Harvey

District 20 - Lower Sackville

Since 1996 on Regional Council and before that on Halifax County Council since 1989 - 18 years this year in total.

Glass Towers (I am done with the term 'Twisted Sisters') - I voted in favour. The project, as presented, met the terms of the Halifax MPS including view planes. You have to make decisions on the rules in place not what one might prefer. The opportunity to have a low rise downtown was lost more than 40 years ago. Back then the height of the tallest building, the old Bedford Row Post Office, could have been selected as the standard it wasn't, nor was a panoramic view plane put in place. Hence, we work with what we have. I am a supporter of built heritage, but, we have by design or default chosen a mixture of styles and heights representing a 200 year time span.

Rolling Stones - didn't attend, but, by all accounts it appears to have been a success.

Future Concerts - I supported the 2 concert plan that council considered. Such events express the vitality of our community.

Commonwealth Games - I was a games supporter. The numbers presented to council on 8 march would not fly. The gap too big between proposed budget and revenue sources. I proposed a two week final try to get the budget in line and get the federal gov't. to put up additional dollars. We were too quick to drop out. It ended badly. A turning point was the federal gov't. publically announcing a 400 million dollar cap with a percentage ratio before there was a final proposed budget. In general one of the biggest disappointments of my time on council.

Downtown video - Some concerns about privacy and civil rights, but, it seems a necessary intrusion in the world we live in.

Chebucto Road Widening - I voted against or for an end to the project. It seems not matter how wide we build roads cars will fill them. We need to be very selective in our future road infrastructure. We need to put our money in public transit etc. We can't do both. Perhaps a premium need to be charged for entering the peninsula at certain times. We make it too easy to follow old patterns of transportation.

Fast ferry - Sexy, but how many cars will it take off the road for $30,000,000.?

Commuter rail from Bedford/Sackville - We had it years ago. Appears to be a lost cause for now.

Grand Parade Parking - I am waiting for my orders to move. I have not opposed the change. It will impact a lot more than councillors, however. It will make City Hall a lot less accessible for many residents.

Harbour Solutions - I look forward to the commissioning of the plants next year and the dramatic results they will bring. Upgrades and separation of storm water and waste water will come in time and when appropriate opportunities present.

Former Infirmary Site etc. - All part of an exciting opportunity to redevelop important public lands. A good process of consultation etc. underway. New central Library must be at the corner, whatever else happens and soon.

Cogswell Interchange - bring it down once a replacement road arrangement has been worked out and creatively develop the lands created.

Bike lanes - A challenge to retrofit our existing older streets. However, we have a plan, now we must work to implement it. Public safety is the key value to be observed.

Exportation of municipal waste - Looking after our own waste within our boarders was the goal established many years ago in developing the strategy. It continues to be essential to the successful implementation of the citizen generated plan.

Grafitti Plan - We need one and one is working its way through the system. The worst grafitti would seem to be under the many railway bridges. CN and Via clean up your bridges!

Lower Sackville since 1970 and the Halifax Peninsula before that.

By car to City Hall and other meeting locations. I often car pool, when possible, with Councillor Johns.

Bus 185, the new MetroLink to downtown Halifax. It has proven to be very popular with many daily commuters from Sackville.

Montreal by train. It was great one gets to see the backyards of Canada.

Charlottetown. In terms of world cities olde London Town, but, I have not been there for 30 years.

Confidence in our future and acting that way. We seems to be always looking down at our feet and not at the horizon, which holds our promising future. There are lots of particular issues like tax structure reform and paying for the capital infrastructure gap etc.

If not an HRM councillor I would be a full time grandfather.

If I were mayor a lot of people would be surprised. I would aim to set a tone of confidence in that we can be something greater than we are while still carrying our values of being a smaller city with us. We have many of the elements in place: immigration strategy, cultural policy, regional plan, urban design initiative, economic strategy and so on. We just need to combine and implement these and talk and act like we believe...we need the vision piece.

Who are you? Mary Wile

What district do you represent? District 10, Clayton Park West

How long have you served as a HRM councillor? 3 years (I am the new baby on the block)

Please state your opinion/musings on the following municipal issues.

The Twisted Sisters I thought the "Glass Towers" were a unique design and would add to Halifax. We can't mutate our historic buildings. We must think of what would add to our heritage in the future.

The 2006 Concert on the Common (Rolling Stones) A little wet, but enjoyable.

Future Concerts on the Common I would prefer another venue-such as a stadium.

The Commonwealth Games

I was disappointed in the decision; I felt strongly that the costs could have been cut considerably. I feel the infrastructure "wants" were laid on the back of the games resulting in the high cost. On the other side, 1.7 billion was too much.

Downtown video surveillance cameras (pizza corner, for example)

It is needed. I am just not sure how effective it would be. If you don't do anything wrong, why worry whether anyone is watching you. It is done everywhere, London, England, USA and probably many other places.

The Chebucto Road Widening project

it doesn't solve the problem. You end up in a "tunnel" at the end of the road. ( Once you pass Connaught). Are you going to repeat the same measures to those living beyong Connaught????

The Fast Ferry

depends on how often and how quick the service is. I don't think residents coming from Hammonds Plains will use the ferry,especially if they have to wait 15 minutes or more to catch the next one. It would take that much time to drive into Halifax.

Commuter rail from Bedford

personally, I feel this is the only solution but not just from Bedford. Workers now travel from Bridgewater, Truro, the valley etc. into Halifax. These are the people we have to concentrate on. We can develop a partnership with CNR. Unless more tracks are taken up, this would be the most effective way. We must think of the future. (Not just 15 years later) It works very well in outside areas of Toronto.

Grand Parade parking

well, I can accept this but we must make it available for special occasions. Such as the visit of Prince Andrew, and many other dignitaries. It has to be available for deliveries, set-ups for special occasions, etc. Councillors are on the move constantly. They may have a meeting in City Hall and then have to hop into their cars to be over in Dartmouth within the next 15 minutes or elsewhere. If not, we would have to book appointments with a 1/2 hour between meetings at the minimum.

The Harbour Solutions Project

had to be done. We are well aware of the damage this has created environmentally. Many other rivers and harbours have the same problems. Times have changed, populations have increased, so we can't keep on dumping our toilets into the ocean and rivers.

The former Infirmary site at Queen and Spring Garden

it has the potential to become a very beautiful area if planned properly. A new library is needed, a new Court house, etc. The old buildings which are historic sites can be converted into other uses, such a art galleries, museums, etc.

The Cogswell Interchang

I haven't seen the conceptual plans for this yet. However, we do have to keep in mind that we need interchanges and means of accessing the downtown area.

Bike lanes

fine if used. The future will tell as to the number of residents using these. Presently, you only see the occasional biker cycling downtown. Would bus lanes be better?

Exportation of municipal waste

the exportation of waste to any area should not be acceptable.

The Grafitti Management Plan

got to keep at it. These vandals are immature wannabe adults who haven't any pride in their city or themselves.

Where in the city do you currently reside? Clayton Park West

How do you travel to work? Car—have to, no other way to move from one meeting to another. I am like a salesperson, you move from one customer to another, and need the transportation to accomplish this.

What is your favourite bus route, and why? Can't say —see above.

Have you travelled outside of Halifax in the past year? If so, where? BC, Sheet Harbour, Lunenburg (family related). Digby, Liverpool, Sheet Harbour, St. John's, Cape Breton (work related)

Other than Halifax, do you have a favourite city? What could beat Halifax?????? There is no place like home.

At this moment in history, what do you consider the biggest challenges facing Halifax? Development, education, qualifiying jobs for our young employees (with reasonable wages) including future advancement. Taxes create hardships. Above all health and hospitalization. As for crime, I have a great deal of confidence in our police. They work hard and remember, they are also tax payers and members of our community. (They feel the same way we do.)

If I were not an HRM coucillor, I would be a volunteer. I am retired.

If I were Mayor, I would ________. I am not interested in being Mayor. I would rather work in my district.

Patrick Murphy

District 11 - North End Halifax/Bayers Road

Have served as Councillor since 2004

Voted against this project, known as the Tex Park project. Clearly members of council have different interpretations of the Municipal Panning Strategy (MPS) but under certain subsections there are encroachments on the view planes and the views from the Halifax Citadel. Over 20 years ago, Warren Almond showed up in Halifax with $20 million for a national park in the middle of the city. As you go to cities across Canada and other parts of the world you do not find too many national parks in the middle of them. When the New York Times did a story about 48 hours in Halifax the picture they used was a view from the Halifax Citadel to Halifax harbour. Some people, some groups, some developers, would probably like to build around the Halifax Citadel. To do this they should go through the process to change the MPS. To stop this conflict about development, we should tell developers up front where they can build and where they may not. During the presentation of this development I questioned the methods of the shadow study and the wind study. Some of the information was not fully presented to Council before the public had their say, which in my view is questionable. If we are to have a vibrant downtown, I also think we should have a percentage of building that is affordable so that we do not just have a downtown for the rich.

2006 Concert on the Commons. I voted for this concert. The $50,000 investment by the city was paid back ten times. The $8 million that came to the city that benefited vendors, businesses in the downtown and entrepreneurs, shows that Halifax can be a world class city, just as when Simon and Garfunkel played in Central Park in New York. And for all the nay-sayers - the grass on the Commons is looking green even on this damp, rainy day. Council has approved the North Commons area as a potential site for future concerts on the commons. Events Halifax has to be more focused and aggressive in bringing potential big name stars to our city. It is not just up to Council - we have many other things that keep up busy day in and day out. It is Events Halifax’s job to bring concerts to the city. The country concert slated for September for Moncton in my view is a better draw for Moncton than for Halifax. Halifax is the regional economic engine for Atlantic Canada, we are the largest government and corporate centre so comparisons to Moncton by the media and others are inappropriate.

Commonwealth Games. In the last vote I voted against the Commonwealth Games. In the end it was not an easy decision but you the math didn’t add up. When the games were first proposed to Council the proposal was for $500 million. We then heard it would be $790 million, then $1.7 billion, and then it was taken back to $1.3 billion. You had to wonder if anyone knew what the real numbers were. Halifax takes a back seat to no one when it comes to competing for events but any events we bring in have to be affordable and attainable. The Commonwealth Games were neither. In the end, the secrecy of the process and not engaging the community fully to have everyone on board did the games in. It was nice the week after the decision to see the pictures of what we could have built. In my view, those pictures and the full benefits of the games could have been articulated more clearly over the whole process. Clearly we have an infrastructure problem and neglect when it comes to sports facilities for our young athletes, particularly when it comes to track and field.

Downtown video surveillance. There are many things that could make our city safer: more police, more intelligence gathering, better behaved bar patrons, responsible bartenders and bar owners that look out their patrons. We must work on all of these things. Halifax is not unique in its problems and neither are the solutions we could use. London, for example, uses video surveillance to the utmost for the protection of its people. Already when you walk into a Wal-Mart, a Shoppers Drug Mart or a bank machine paying a service charge, you’re on video. If a video can save a life or find a culprit who has taken advantage of someone else, then I vote for video.

Chebucto Road widening. I voted against the Chebucto Road widening. This represents poor planning project by our traffic department. I can`t think of anywhere else in any large urban setting where you decrease traffic by widening roads and upsetting urban neighbourhoods. So after we take cars through our roundabout we’re now squeezing them under a railway bridge, (anyone can look and see how small the railway bridge is) and later widening the roadway. How much time will this really save in getting to work? During the public hearing on this issue, when I asked staff the cost of the project from the rotary to Chebucto Road, it was $1.3 million. Let’s take $1.3 million out of this project, stop the widening of Chebucto Road and allocate to a link service from Timberlea and Spryfield. Also, maybe we should experiment with a reversing lane on Quinpool Road that could alleviate some traffic stress. We have $30 million designated for the first round of the fast ferry project, a project I hope can improve our harbour transit network. Being a life long North Ender, I am not fully convinced that the ride will be smooth enough in January and February to enjoy your morning coffee – I have seen the white caps. With rapid transit comes frequency and with frequency comes rapid transit. I hope this system can move people off the Bedford Highway. Pricing and timing of the trips will be key. It is a true shame that our Canadian National railway does not have a vision of cooperation when it comes to commuter rail. Commuter rail should be a no brainer but is not due to this lack of vision and a lack of leadership federally. If you look at Malaysia, Japan, and Europe, Canada is a complete backwater when it comes to rail service in urban areas. Canada was built on a national dream of a railway and our current owner of many of our tracks can’t even keep them properly in place. This is a shame and a lost opportunity forever. Any type of rail service is dead.

Grand Parade parking. I voted not to park in Grand Parade – both votes. I hope the media will now look down the street at the cars parked around the gem of Georgian architecture in our city. We have not only a war memorial at province house but also a statue of a man who fought for freedom of the press and we have cars parked around the whole building and no one cares. Also, although the building was restored in the 1980s it is not lit up in at night, we light city hall.

Harbour Solutions Project – I was not on Council when this project was approved. I hope in 25 years we’re not looking for more solutions to our dirty harbour. Again, more federal input should have been given to help clean up the world`s second largest natural harbour. It’s like the attitude to the offshore accords – there is no money. At the end of the day we had to do something and I hope this project will improve the environment of the harbour. I do not know why we’re not working 24?7 when we’re digging up Lower Water Street and disrupting traffic, especially the patterns of large container trucks which are now using other streets they should not be on.

Former Infirmary Site. This area should be developed into a public and commercial space that all Haligonians will be proud of. I am not necessarily a promoter of a library on Spring Garden Road. Maybe a better location would be Quinpool Road as a central location. Spring Garden Road needs some help. The above ground wiring should be removed and maybe some side streets could be made into pedestrian walkways. There should also be better lighting on Spring Garden.

Cogswell Street Interchange. Blow it up.

I sit on the Bikeways Advisory Committee, the reason I wanted to get on bikeways was because I thought they were not doing enough for bicycle transportation in HRM. I can tell you the representatives from the public on this committee are very dedicated. I know many bicycle enthusiasts are not happy with the progress of more bike lanes and accessibility for bikes but many bike lanes have been put in place throughout HRM over the last few years. The problem that the bikeways committee faces is that HRM is the size of Prince Edward Island. From the motorist side we have to improve attitudes towards bikes and cyclists have to be responsible drivers too.

Exportation of municipal waste. Our waste management system is probably second to none in the country and exportation of municipal waste to qualified dump sites must be equitable and reliable and also managed fairly by the province.

Graffiti management plan. There have been different plans all across HRM to combat graffiti. HRM has entered into agreements with utilities and large service entities trying to combat graffiti. I’d like to commend Aliant for their forward thinking mural projects on their equipment. They way Canada Post does not take care of their property is a national disgrace and they don’t care. Halifax Police, through diligent efforts, have charged some people with graffiti crimes. The bottom line is there has to be respect shown for other people’s property especially when it comes to national monuments and interpretive plaques. Maybe our schools should play a bigger role in educating students at an early age not to deface other people’s property. A note of safety concern is the unfortunate tagging of traffic signs. The only way we can fight graffiti is to have it removed quickly by HRM and private property owners.

I reside in the North End, i.e. North of North Street.

On four wheels.

The number 9 Barrington, because it travels mostly the perimeter of the Harbour side of the peninsula so you can see the shipyards to Point Pleasant Park.

I have traveled to Boston and to many small towns in Nova Scotia outside HRM.

Boston and Montreal.

Our biggest challenge in Halifax is our global competitiveness when it comes to shipping and manufacturing. Also I believe we have to have more education in entrepreneurship in our school system. Many people seek out high tech education for employment but we also need highly trained trades people to build roads, buildings, properly built sewers, and for a competitive infrastructure system.

If I were not an HRM councillor I would be running my own business.

If I were Mayor, I’d make Halifax the best place to live in the world. I would promote the quality of life that we have not only as a city but also in terms of how the people that live in the city care about others. Our tagline should not be Come to Life, it should be Halifax, A Way of Life. For now, I’ll do my part and work for the good people of District 11.


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