On the phone with political science graduate Derek Bellemore, District 13

“I just see so many issues in the city that I think should be resolved.”

Jen Yeo
Derek Bellemore is running for council because he’s always been interested in the community, starting from when he was the youngest volunteer on the Heritage Advisory Committee. Now, as a political science graduate from Dalhousie University, Bellemore says his degree will help him make informed decisions if he’s elected to represent District 13 (Hammonds Plains–St. Margarets).

Since he grew up in Hammonds Plains, Bellemore is already aware of many of the issues affecting the district. “I just see so many issues in the city that I think should be resolved,” he says, listing planning, transportation and dangerous street conditions among his top reasons for running.

The candidate says he’d resolve pedestrian infrastructure issues on a case-by-case basis, and thinks the district can get a real plan in place within a few years. “There’s little when it comes to pedestrian infrastructure, and our planning hasn’t really been updated since the 1990s,” he says.“I want to bring those to Tantallon and to Hammonds Plain as well.”

Since he started campaigning, the issue of safer streets has been on almost everyone’s lips, especially in places like Hammonds Plains, Tantallon and along Peggys Cove Road. “If they need to go from point A to point B, there’s not really any safe walking infrastructure in place for them to actually simply go for a walk, or to simply just get the mail or simply walk to school.”

He says residents have also complained about the lack of affordable housing in the district, “and that’s something I want to address.”

Bellemore says he’ll hold monthly town halls if elected, and he hopes people become more involved in municipal politics. “Especially since the last election had abysmally low voter turnout,” he says. “And it’s kind of hard to gauge what the people want in the communities if so few people are actually turning out.”

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