On the phone with incumbent Lindell Smith, District 8

Smith wants to work on reducing construction traffic and consulting more residents on development.

Riley Smith
n Halifax’s north end, Councillor Lindell Smith is a staunch community advocate both in the council chambers and outside of them.

“When you look at the last four years, we’ve made amazing progress together as a district and as residents and I want to continue as the elected councillor to fulfil that progress and relate it to safe and accessible communities, and social equity and affordability,” Smith says.

Smith says highlights for him include implementing more bike lanes, recent votes like a living wage for HRM contractors, and trying to keep that tricky balance between approving development and preserving heritage buildings.

“We’re seeing a lot of growth in development and really trying to make sure that even if the residents are not happy with the outcome, that they’ve been part of the discussion, and have input in how things move forward,” says Smith.

Smith has a lot of goals he still wants to achieve if re-elected, including building transportation corridors on major arteries and what he calls “construction mitigation.”

“That’s a fancy word really, people are just sick and tired of all the streets being closed, traffic and whatnot,” Smith explains. “If you go pretty much anywheres in the north end you’re going to run into some kind of construction.”

Aside from these main issues that will likely never subside, Smith says he’s also faced a plethora of questions on defunding the police in recent months. Part of his he chalks up to his role on the police commission.

“But also being the only Black councillor, who in the past has spoken about police and the relationship with communities, and even my experience with police in the past,” he says. “People do know that this is something I talk about so they do come to me, but I think also there’s a piece of it that’s like, ‘Okay well this relates directly to the African Nova Scotian community, so what’s your opinion?’”

Smith says running as an incumbent is different than his bright-eyed bushy-tailed campaign days of 2016, but he’s not worried about his competition. In fact, he’s glad to have others interested in municipal politics.

“For me, the most important thing is that people get involved with government," he says, "and that’s always been a pillar of mine.”