efore she became councillor, Lisa Blackburn worked in television and radio. Now, she's making the decisions she used to report on.
“The municipal order of government is the closest to homeowners, and we’re the ones who impact your day-to-day life, so those decisions are important ones at that council table,” says the incumbent candidate for District 14 (Middle/Upper Sackville–Beaver Bank–Lucasville).
This year she was made deputy mayor, and is one of only two female councillors in room of 14 men. Blackburn also serves on several committees including the Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Halifax Regional Library Board and the Board of Police Commissioners.
Blackburn says her initial reason for being on the Board of Police Commissioners was to give voice to rural areas that are served by the RCMP, "but it’s certainly become more important than that,” she says. “So I’m there, I’m digging in there to do the hard work. I’m a huge proponent of re-allocation. I think that for far too long we’ve been asking our police to do far too much and it’s now reached a crisis point.”
Blackburn is pleased with recent decisions by council like declaring HRM contractors would get paid a living wage and approving backyard suites, but Blackburn has no shortage of things she still wants to address if re-elected.
“The community has outgrown many of the by-law jurisdictions that are in the regional plan, so that has been frustrating,” says Blackburn. “But now that that’s been re-opened for updating, I’m hoping that it will better reflect–and certainly I’ll be working with planning and development to make sure that it does better reflect the community as it is now and not what it was 20, 30 years ago.”
The District 14 councillor, who’s lived in the area since 1979, says she stays true to her roots and fights for things important to the 20,600 residents she represents.
“On a more local level, I think the thing that makes me the most proud is the work that we did to re-establish the historic boundaries for Lucasville,” Blackburn says. “That was a process that was certainly not easy but I’m glad that when all was said and done we were able to re-establish the historic community boundaries that the Black settlers of that community had when they first settled that area.”
If she does win the council seat again, Blackburn is upfront that this will be her last term.
“I’ve always said from the beginning two terms and then I step aside, because I think it’s important to have new perspectives and life experiences around that council table.”