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District 1

Sunday, October 2, 2016

15 questions with District 1 candidate Steve Sinnott

“Every community should have the same opportunities to have the same services and upgrades as everyone else.”

Posted By on Sun, Oct 2, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Sinnott can be reached at 902-240-070 and stevesinnott@ns.sympatico.ca, or via Facebook and Twitter. - VIA CANDIDATE
  • Sinnott can be reached at 902-240-070 and stevesinnott@ns.sympatico.ca, or via Facebook and Twitter.
  • via candidate

The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Steve Sinnott from Waverley—Fall River—Musquodoboit Valley sent back.

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Why should residents of your district vote for you?

Residents in District 1 are looking for change at City Hall. They are looking for someone that has a different approach and new ideas and are looking for someone to stand up for the entire district and our residents. I believe I have the skills and the dedication to bring the issues of District 1 to the council chambers. HRM is full of potential opportunities and has great exposure on the world scene. I will work with the other councillors to help get the support our residents need. Municipal councillors need to be open and transparent to their residents. A swift response by either email or phone when a resident contacts their councillor is very important. As a councillor, if a resident takes the time to reach out to me, I will make sure that a response to the issue is a priority and a resolution is reached within a reasonable time frame.

What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?

Voter turn-out! We have heard a lot of people say they don’t vote because it doesn’t make a difference and they aren’t supported even if they do.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

I Googled myself to see how I did after the candidates' forum. I guess no news is good news?

What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?

That I take things too personally. I will really be working on that as a councillor!

What was the first concert you ever went to?
I am kind of embarrassed, but I have never gone to a concert.

What was the last movie you didn’t finish?
Father of the Bride 2

What pisses you off?

At the moment, stolen and destroyed signs! Very few candidates have an unlimited budget and it is very disheartening to see your signs damaged beyond use or even worse stolen.

What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?

The size of the district. To go from one end of the district to other end is almost a two-hour drive. The district encompasses everything from rural HRM to suburban HRM, with lots of issues. Each community wants their councillor to make their local issue a priority, but on some occasions it will be hard to do so for everyone. Engaging the residents and attending as many social events and holding town hall meetings to discuss the local issues throughout the district will help the new councillor best represent the residents of District 1.

What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?

When I graduated from high school I wanted to get into broadcasting, but decided to take a year off to work. I started my career in the public sector and never looked back. I regret not going back to school and obtaining my broadcasting degree. When the opportunity came up to run for municipal councillor, the timing was right and I wanted to make sure I did not pass up on another great opportunity.

What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?

Some of the memes going around on Facebook.

What’s your go-to meal when cooking?

My go-to meal is barbecuing a steak with potatoes and vegetables. Also you can’t forget a nice glass of red wine.

What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?

The biggest issue is how we can become one cohesive municipality. We need to remove the barriers from our rural areas to the downtown core. We live in a great municipality and we need to include everyone, from public transit to development opportunities. Every community should have the same opportunities to have the same services and upgrades as everyone else.

How would you describe your opponents in this race?

This district’s candidates have great ideas and some common goals for our varied communities and we are all aiming for the same goal which is to represent our residents to the best of our ability as the next councillor for District 1.

What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?

How to play the bagpipes.

What do you promise NOT to do if elected?

I promise not to make quick or rash decisions especially if it affects residents of District 1. You need to listen to the new and current issues of the residents and not dwell on the past issues that others may have had with any council member. It takes a lot of time and integrity to put your name forth as a potential councillor and everyone should be respected for their experiences.

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

15 questions with District 1 candidate Cathy Deagle-Gammon

“We are not a unified HRM and in the next four years we need to come together.”

Posted By on Sat, Oct 1, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Deagle-Gammon can be reached at 902-456-2206 and cdg@accesswave.ca, or via Facebook and Twitter. - LENNY MULLINS
  • Deagle-Gammon can be reached at 902-456-2206 and cdg@accesswave.ca, or via Facebook and Twitter.
  • LENNY MULLINS

The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Cathy Deagle-Gammon from Waverley—Fall River—Musquodoboit Valley sent back.

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Why should residents of your district vote for you?

Residents of District 1 need a full-time, fully invested councillor that knows how to represent diverse and distinctive communities. I have 36 years’ experience working in leadership roles in the nonprofit social enterprise sector, negotiating will all levels of government and community to reach a goal, create opportunity and solve issues.

What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?

Increasing voter turnout.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

“HRM Regional Council.”

What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?

I need more work-life balance.

What was the first concert you ever went to?
Broad Cove Scottish Concert!

What was the last movie you didn’t finish?

None.


What pisses you off?

Disrespect.

What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?

District boundaries.

What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?

None—I’ve learned from every experience and most make you stronger.

What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?

When my husband and greatest support told me after a long day of canvassing that it was “employee appreciate night.”

What’s your go-to meal when cooking?

Lasagna.

What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?

That we are not a unified HRM and in the next four years we need to come together.

How would you describe your opponents in this race?

Well-intentioned.

What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?

Sign language.

What do you promise NOT to do if elected?

Stop listening—I will always listen to concerns, be open to understanding and to provide representation.

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

15 questions with District 1 candidate Alison McNair

“If the attitudes and positions of the people sitting in the council chamber don't change then nothing else will.”

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 6:13 PM

McNair can be reached at 902-830-4363 - and yourdistrict1candidate2016@gmail.com, or via Facebook and Twitter. - LENNY MULLINS
  • McNair can be reached at 902-830-4363and yourdistrict1candidate2016@gmail.com, or via Facebook and Twitter.
  • LENNY MULLINS

The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Alison McNair from Waverley—Fall River—Musquodoboit Valley sent back.

———

Why should residents of your district vote for you?

My background and experience has always been largely focused on dealing with people and everything that goes into running a business. I am currently an independent real estate agent as well as a corporate manager in the retail fuel industry. These past few weeks being out and talking to people and attending different events has been a real education for me. Some people may feel the word broken when used to describe our current municipal government is too harsh, and maybe it is but there needs to be some real change. When I hear about the issues of people not being granted building permits because all of a sudden the municipality has decided to start enforcing a bylaw which it has not paid attention to in 20 years or that HRM is paying people to paint crosswalks black, what would you say is going on? I will not be part of the current problem. If I am elected I will be part of the solution. Some may believe that is a pie-in-the-sky attitude, but you know what, why not? Being part of the solution is not just me or a few councillors coming together, it is the public saying enough is enough. It is time the public demands more of its government and choosing the candidate who you feel will stand right beside you and say it, too.

What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?

Getting out and voting. Our voting turnout over the last several municipal elections has been anything but stellar. If people are unhappy or feel the government is not doing a good job, their vote is the only thing that will ever change anything. If the same councillors who you believe are not doing a good job continue to be voted in, how will anything change? Nothing will ever change unless we make it change.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

“Lot grading bylaw”

What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?

I am stubborn and anal. Or as I like to say, passionate and detail oriented.

What was the first concert you ever went to?
Trooper. I'm aging myself.

What was the last movie you didn’t finish?
Network. I had just finished All the President's Men and decided to look for another highly acclaimed movie from the '70s. I could not get into it.

What pisses you off?

Rudeness—hands down.

What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?

The number of bicycles on the road in the area I live. In other parts of the district—the proposed Fall River Quarry, random bylaws being enforced.

What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?

I don't know if I have one that I would say I regret. I am a true believer that everything that we experience in life is what makes us who we are today. There have been decisions that I have questioned but none that I would say I ultimately, and over time, regret.

What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?

The “mom cold vs the man cold” on Facebook.

What’s your go-to meal when cooking?

Sausage and pepper penne.

What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?

The status quo continuing. I know there are changes coming because a lot of the councillors are not re-offering but it truly depends on who is voted in to replace them. If it the same old establishment people I will be disappointed. If the attitudes and positions of the people sitting in the council chamber don't change then nothing else will.

How would you describe your opponents in this race?

We are a very diverse group with a wide range of backgrounds.

What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?

In addition to the new things I am learning everyday within the campaigning process: learning how to barbecue the way the pros do.

What do you promise NOT to do if elected?

I promise not to be afraid to be speak up for the issues of my constituents.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

15 questions with District 1 candidate Trevor Lawson

“Rural areas of HRM have become increasingly disconnected from the urban core.”

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Lawson can be reached at 902-499-7252 - and work@votetrevorlawson.ca, or via Twitter and Facebook. - LENNY MULLINS
  • Lawson can be reached at 902-499-7252and work@votetrevorlawson.ca, or via Twitter and Facebook.
  • LENNY MULLINS

The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Trevor Lawson from Waverley—Fall River—Musquodoboit Valley sent back.

———

Why should residents of your district vote for you?

I have made my living working with animals of all sizes. And one of the things that you learn when working with animals and their “people” is a real sense of empathy. People really bond with their animals the same way they bond with their families and community. When you have an intense bond like that it can make it difficult to make tough decisions and you really need to have someone available to actively listen to the problem before stepping in to solve things. I think that I can bring my experience to bear on the issues facing HRM and will work every day to approach the job of District 1 councillor with patience, empathy and caring. A resident recently remarked that I was “going to be working with a different group of animals at City Hall.” I told him I thought I’d be OK so long as they don’t kick harder than a horse!

What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?

I wish people were talking more about making all of Halifax part of the conversation. I have watched each of the conversations coming out of different camps, and most are focused on their own area. I think we are all better served to be discussing our potential in a holistic way, recognizing the incredible resources we have in our vast community of urban, suburban and rural landscapes.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

Likely nothing too exciting, I think it was the minor hockey tryout schedule. My son is an avid hockey player, and that schedule can be a challenge to keep track of!

What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?

I suppose it would be that I am often quite direct. I tend to want to “say what I mean, and mean what I say.” I am used to getting things done, and have a hard time when others don’t share my sense of urgency.

What was the first concert you ever went to?
It was at the Halifax Forum, many, many years ago. Sawyer Brown headlined and Charlie Major opened!

What was the last movie you didn’t finish?
Seabiscuit—an old one with many tremendous lessons about the human-animal bond and the inspiration that we can find when we are down but not out and the opportunity that lies before us. I watched with my family….but we all nodded off before the very end! Definitely worth a re-watch.

What pisses you off?

I have seen heartbreaking cases where animals suffer greatly when people are suffering. We need to do better by our neighbours and communities if we want to prevent animal abuse. As a veterinarian, and chair of the Nova Scotia Animal Cruelty Appeal Board, I have seen some very difficult cases, which have taught me not to judge, but instead to listen closer. The animals in our lives give us so much, it’s crucial that we give just as much back, if not more.

What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?

It seems that rural areas of HRM have become increasingly disconnected from the urban core. A lot of people don’t feel as though they are part of the master plan. We need to change that. I’ve heard this many times at doorsteps across District 1 and even heard of a group of Fall River residents who attended one of the Centre Plan workshops in Dartmouth to ask when their community would get the same level of attention. We need positive and meaningful contributions from all areas of Halifax if we are going to thrive in the future. There are many fantastic candidates running in all districts in this election, we can get the job done!

What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?

In my career I have struggled with animal cases that don’t go well. I have pulled out all of the stops, consulted with all the bright minds in my network, and still have had cases with animals that I could not save. This takes a tremendous emotional toll at times, but I have clients who have helped me greatly on those days. There are days when we have to hold each other up and keep on going. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything, despite how genuinely hard they are—they are transformative and real.

What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?

My daughter has an infectious laugh. Her and I have an incredible bond. She is determined (okay, very head strong!) and smart, but incredibly empathetic and caring. When she gets into an uncontrollable laugh, everything else seems to stop.

What’s your go-to meal when cooking?

Tikka masala on basmati rice with naan bread. It’s quick, easy and delicious. When I was a student at UPEI there was an amazing little restaurant called Churchill Arms. They make an amazing masala. My homemade curry will never be close to as good as theirs but every bite brings back a flood of fond memories.

What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?

I worry about safety on the roads. Every time I hear about another accident, it breaks my heart. Road safety is a complex problem with a wide variety of potential solutions and I am eager to be a part of making HRM a safer place to get around, no matter how you do it.

How would you describe your opponents in this race?

We’ve got a great group of candidates who want to represent District 1! It’s wonderful to see some diverse choices, both in District 1 and across HRM. It’s 2016 after all, and it’s time for a new generation of leaders to hop in the saddle (mind the pun). We’ve spent plenty of time with the politics of the 20th century, and it’s time to move on, I’m excited to see where we go next!

What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?

Friends of mine recently bought a sailboat, and I am eager to learn from them. Being on the water provides a unique sense of freedom, where all of life’s responsibilities seem to be put at least temporarily on hold.

What do you promise NOT to do if elected?

This is simple. I promise not to be a stereotype of past politicians. I will not remain silent on real issues that affect citizens, regardless of whether they are in District 1 or not. Promises are easy—representation takes dedication.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The race for Waverley—Fall River—Musquodoboit Valley

All the candidates and issues facing District 1 this election.

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 10:34 AM

District 1 includes smaller suburban areas (Fall River, Waverley) and much larger rural stretches throughout Musquodoboit. Click here for HRM’s boundary description. - AKIRA ARRUDA
  • District 1 includes smaller suburban areas (Fall River, Waverley) and much larger rural stretches throughout Musquodoboit. Click here for HRM’s boundary description.
  • AKIRA ARRUDA

It takes nearly two hours to drive fully across District 1, making the open race for Waverley—Fall River—Musquodoboit Valley more of a marathon than a sprint. The six candidates battling it out will have to decide between canvassing for voters in the area’s concentrated suburban centers, or visiting the spread-out, often ignored rural communities throughout the Musquodoboit Valley.

Eligible voters: 16,371 (as of 2014)
(Up 700 from 2012)
Past voter turnout: 43.4 percent

The Candidates
Incumbent councillor Barry Dalrymple isn’t re-offering, but he has thrown his political weight behind longtime friend and Dartmouth Adult Service Centre executive director Cathy Deagle-Gammon. That endorsement may help or hinder Deagle-Gammon’s chances, particularly while running against Steve Streatch. The councillor of 13 years was defeated by Dalrymple in 2012. Streatch was a perennial F-grader in The Coast’s annual council report cards, but it’s not like that stopped him from getting elected before. Over in Waverley, real estate agent Alison McNair and Canada Post employee Steve Sinnott are promising to bring change to how District 1 is represented at City Hall. Meanwhile, veterinarian Trevor Lawson might have the farmer vote out in Musquodoboit, but he’ll need to win over the suburbs to get elected. Lawson did recently score an endorsement from beloved ex-MP Peter Stoffer, though that might not carry much weight in the traditionally Conservative district. Rounding out the ballot is social media-abstaining millennial Colin Castle, who’s descended from one of the valley’s original settler families.

The Issues
Commuter rail offers a glimmer of hope to the transit-barren residents of District 1, especially with all that federal infrastructure funding in HRM’s bank account. The population of the area is also ageing up without many resources or seniors homes in place to accommodate that demographic switch. A proposed quarry near Miller Lake, water issues, the ditch tax and the recent outcry over HRM’s large lot bylaw are all likely hot topics in this campaign. All of those problems speak to one of District 1’s biggest conflicts at city hall—the ongoing divide between rural and urban HRM. Whoever does win Waverley—Fall River—Musquodoboit Valley will need to find a way to make their residents feel heard, while working together with all of the municipality's other councillors—new and old, rural and urban.

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


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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

15 questions with District 1 candidate Colin Castle

“If I am elected, I won’t make promises”

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 5:06 PM

Castle can be reached at Colincastlefordistrictone@gmail.com and 902-789-3446. He abstains from social media.
  • Castle can be reached at Colincastlefordistrictone@gmail.com and 902-789-3446. He abstains from social media.

The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Colin Castle from Waverley—Fall River—Musquodoboit Valley sent back.

———

Why should residents of your district vote for you?

Over the course of the summer, I have knocked on nearly every door in District 1 so far. I have had the fortunate opportunity to speak with a little shy of 2,500 residents face-to-face on their doorsteps. I have taken the time to come to you proactively, to listen to the concerns you and your neighbors are facing in your community. I believe this level of dedication should be demanded from every elected official because it shows a candidate is willing to earn constituents’ votes. Also, during those conversations a majority of residents expressed to me they would like to see someone young get elected because it is time for the next generation to start getting involved. I agree with these people and it is a key reason I am running. As someone in their mid-twenties, I have an intrinsically vested interest to the decisions being made because people around my age and younger will be living with and paying for these decisions much longer than mom and dad or gram and gramps. All this to say I will be very careful and considerate about the ramifications of how I vote and motions I will put forward if elected.

What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?

I wish more people were talking about how to incorporate the environment into City Hall. I will be the first to admit I would never affiliate myself with the Green Party or any type of ecological/environmental movement, but intelligent and rational people have already figured out our climate globally is changing. They have been warning us for years. Climate change is an undeniable scientific fact. So I wish people were talking more about how we can incorporate minor changes in how we do business as a municipality to affect major change in the grand scheme of things.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

The last thing I Googled was William Gill. He painted a stage curtain which is presently housed at the Musquodoboit Valley Bicentennial Theatre. The curtain was originally painted on site for the Majestic Theatre in 1892. The more you know!

What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?

The most accurate criticism someone has made about me had to come in the form of a report card comment when I must have been in Grade 2 or Grade 3. I don’t remember it exactly but it was something to the effect of “does not interact well with others, very serious.” And in a way, I suppose that still holds true today. Back then the comment came to be because while other kids were playing and having fun, I was sitting at my desk reading, doing math or practicing handwriting. Even at a very young age, I had the mindset of “I’m in school to learn, not to play. I can play after I’m out of school!” I’m still just as serious today but I interact very well with others now.

What was the first concert you ever went to?

The first concert I ever went to was in 2006. The Rolling Stones were playing the Common and had special guests Alice Cooper, Kanye West and Sloan in tow. I missed Sloan and only caught the last song of Alice Cooper’s set. I did catch Alice when he came back to Halifax in 2009. It was a rainy and muddy experience but what a show!

What was the last movie you didn’t finish?

How embarrassing. I would love to say something great like The Godfather or Scarface, but the last movie I didn’t finish was The Good Dinosaur.

What pisses you off?

Politically, people who don’t vote then bitch about their problems pisses me off. As a regular human being, people who think the orange light between red and green means speed up. Orange means prepare to STOP if you’re approaching the intersection and it means clear the intersection if you’ve already entered. It never has and never will mean speed up and cut me off.

What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?

The biggest change in our district since 2012 has actually been the creation of our district in 2012. The residents of the former District 1 went from being a group of communities with common interests, values and goals to being divided and lumped into the dense suburban population of Waverley and Fall River. We effectively lost our representation at City Hall because Barry Dalrymple mainly focused and cared for Fall River and surrounding area.

What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?

I have no regrets. I own every decision I have made rightly or wrongly.

What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?

The last thing that really made me laugh was watching a brief clip from The Simpsons where Homer thought about him being the mayor. I laughed so hard at that clip. For your online audience, you can view it here.

What’s your go-to meal when cooking?

When I’m lazy and want something easy, pasta. It takes very little effort to brown some ground beef, throw in some veggies and sauce, then boil water. For special occasions like my anniversary or Valentine’s Day however, I make chicken-fried steak with white gravy and biscuits.

What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?

What worries me most about HRM is an overall lack of identity. We are simply too big to be unified on how we present ourselves to the province, the country and the world. Hell, even to ourselves. If amalgamation was truly successful, people in Dartmouth wouldn’t care about the signs changing and people in the rural parts would feel connected to the downtown core. But that didn’t happen and it never will happen because it is Nova Scotia. We are fearful and hesitant to change. I would say that worries me the most because if we're not all on the same page then progress is going to be painfully slow and mired with in-fighting.

How would you describe your opponents in this race?

Humans. Three males. Two females.

What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?

I would like to learn more about what makes people tick. As a salesperson, I have been trained in techniques which play up certain aspects of the subconscious to almost manipulate the decision making process. I understand the how of the process, but I’d like to better understand the why of what makes people do what they do and decide what they decide. Our brains are a fascinating place and I enjoy being fascinated.

What do you promise NOT to do if elected?

I promise not to make promises. The worst thing anyone can do is tell you they can and will do something then tell you it can’t be done. People are fed up with politicians promising them the world and then doing nothing for four years. Then year four rolls around and they realize they need to do something to get elected so they make more promises. If I am elected, I won’t make promises. I will get results on the issues affecting you. I will put all my effort into identifying problems and working on solutions to get the best results possible for District 1 and HRM. Plain and simple. Politics as it should be.

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