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Monday, October 3, 2016

The grudge match for Hammonds Plains—St. Margarets

All the candidates and issues facing District 13 this election.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Scattered suburban communities and large rural patches along the St. Margarets Bay fill out District 13, which is home to some of the most scenic areas in HRM. Click here for HRM’s boundary description. - AKIRA ARRUDA
  • AKIRA ARRUDA
  • Scattered suburban communities and large rural patches along the St. Margarets Bay fill out District 13, which is home to some of the most scenic areas in HRM. Click here for HRM’s boundary description.

Will reverse networking win the day in Hammonds Plains—St. Margarets? Sure, the residents of this district have better things to worry about than their councillor’s tweeting. But Matt Whitman remains a polarizing presence—both at City Hall and on social media. Given the animosity between the deputy mayor and his strongest challenger, the candidates are poised to trump the issues in District 13.

Eligible voters: 18,756 (as of 2014)
(Up nearly 1,000 from 2012)
Past voter turnout: 40.21 percent

The Candidates
Incumbent councillor Matt Whitman and his main challenger Pamela Lovelace do not like each other. Whitman says he’s a glass-half-full kind of person, while Lovelace is a glass-half-empty. Lovelace—who has FOIPOP’d Whitman’s emails to collect everything the councillor has written about her—says Whitman is a thin-skinned legislator lacking values and transparency. In between these two type-A candidates is the quieter Harry Ward, who’s promising to “not be an ass” if elected. In municipal politics, maybe that’s all any of us can really hope for.

The Issues
Putting the personalities of their candidates aside, the residents in District 13 do have actual issues that are important to them. Most residents are still fuming over HRM’s ditch tax and the sudden appearance of an extra charge on their water bills. A bigger concern now is the proposed Tantallon asphalt plant, which is heading to a second round of community consultation on its way to an eventual ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ from council. Spoilers: community members don’t want it anywhere near them. Like other suburban/rural districts, Hammonds Plains—St. Margarets also faces its share of transit woes, water issues and the continual complaints that come from paying into the municipality’s coffers but getting fewer public services out of it. Entertaining as it will be to watch Whitman fight to hang onto his seat, the winner of District 13 should dispense with any social media gloating and get to work on day one dealing with that asphalt plant.

Click here to find out more info on how, where and when you can vote in HRM’s municipal election.


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