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Council talks water infrastructure

A lot of meetings cancelled

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Hey Insiders 👋 

Apologies for the late email this week; we’re still dealing with and working through some editorial backlogs! There is still no government tendies section this week, I am aiming to get it back online for next week’s newsletter. My budget recap piece has now entered the editing process. A lot of my longer pieces are very information-heavy and not very good stories because as an editor once told me, she could not send me to cover a good news story at a daycare because I’d come back with a horrifying story about numbers. A long way of saying that gathering dense information and then turning it into a story takes time. Especially with the added distractions of March Break. But nearing the end of that story process and with March break in the rearview is why Government Tendies is expected to make a comeback in next week’s edition.

This newsletter’s TLDR

Council is back this week

Higher than normal volume of meeting cancellations

What happened last week (in brief)

Monday, Mar. 11

The Executive Standing Committee met and passed the administrative motions required to run the fall CSAP and Municipal elections. They also heard from the Women’s Advisory Committee who gave an update on the past year of work and what they plan to do this year. The motion to look at the history of Africville going back to the Campbell Road Settlement. Councillor Waye Mason wanted to know what the desired outcome from the motion was and city staff said they didn’t know. For what it’s worth, based on my initial reporting and a brief rewatch of the meetings where this motion was discussed, I understood this motion to be asking for the city to see if the official apology needed to be updated if it included the history of the Campbell Road Settlement. We’ll see what staff come back with.  

The Board of Police Commissioners met and talked about sexual assault. Commissioner Harry Critchley wants the city to review sexual assault cases in large part because the police have a big problem with not believing women, which is also a problem that manifests in the HRM. He put forward a motion (which passed) asking for a staff report to see if all cases of sexual violence against women should be automatically reviewed, regardless of what the police and legal systems did with the complaint. However, the police say this type of case review and oversight is being delayed because sharing information with independent third parties has associated privacy concerns. The police are getting legal advice and will come back with more later. 

Wednesday, Mar. 13

The Special Events Advisory Committee met and got some presentations. The Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo says it has a higher economic impact on the HRM than the Junos so it should be subsidized like the Junos. A bunch of AirBnB owners want to advise the city on how to spend the marketing levy. Their presentation was met with a lukewarm reception when the committee learned this new society currently has no official membership. And Curling Canada is having a tournament in preparation for the next Winter Olympics, and their representative told councillor how this tournament will benefit the local curling rinks.

Friday, Mar. 15

I wrote this newsletter that you are now reading

What’s happening this week

Monday, Mar. 18

The Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting was cancelled. Its chair, Andrew Taylor, died on March 17, 2024, at the age of 41.

The North West Community Council is meeting and they’ll consider letting a developer convert planned parking spots into more units of housing. The recycling depot at 15 Sackville Cross Road wants to expand.

Tuesday, Mar 19: Council day

You are getting this email as this meeting is ongoing!

The military will do a flypast of the Highway of Heroes on August 17, 2024.

Halifax Water is presenting its business plan and its capital costs are going up as a lot of big pieces of infrastructure come up for renewal. The report from Halifax Water says they are excited about their new headquarters, but the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board says the price tag is excessive. This is a very intense and interesting debate about the effects of climate change on Halifax Water’s infrastructure demands and the cost of climate change to us as taxpayers in the future.

Someone wants to build a single-family home on Greenbank Court in Dartmouth, this’ll get a public hearing.

The city requested that the province adopt the new 2020 federal building codes which are crucial for the city’s efforts to prevent climate change and destruction from wildfires.

The administrative motions to run the fall CSAP and municipal elections have passed.

The Heritage Advisory Committee has proposed that 1641 Fairfield Road be added to the list of heritage properties, that 12 York Redoubt Cresent be removed as a heritage property and allowing 1259 Park Street to be demolished. The city’s going to help pay for 12 heritage properties to do maintenance and deny two houses for reasons of “procedural fairness.” The demolition of Park Street has been pulled off the consent agenda by Waye Mason, the rest passed off the top of the meeting.

Councillor Lisa Blackburn will be asking for a report about the status of the flood damage from the floods of July 2023.

Councillor Pam Lovelace wants to make sure that when pedestrians are bleeding out in crosswalks built on stolen land their blood will be spilling onto crosswalks painted with Indigenous designs.

Those two Middle Sackville councillors will also be asking for staff to expedite the master planning process for the Middle Sackville area.

Councillor Lovelace is still on her stormwater management tear and is going to ask for a report from the CAO to try and get a comprehensive stormwater management plan for the municipality.

Councillor Patty Cuttell wants to know if the city can backstop Tim Houston’s failures on climate and is asking for a report on existing or planned municipal legislation that will help protect HRM’s coastlines.

Wednesday, Mar. 20

Audit and Finance Standing Committee will be meeting and they’ll be getting an audit of the HRM’s consolidated financial statements. To be honest, here, I need to do a lot of background research into the jargon used in this report. I can’t honestly tell you I fully understand what I’m reading yet. I normally do this type of research before sitting down to write, but time has been impossible to find this week.

The Heritage Advisory Committee has been rescheduled.

The License Appeal Committee has been cancelled. 

Thursday, Mar. 21

Community Planning and Economic Development standing committee has been cancelled.

The Active Transportation Advisory Committee has been cancelled.

The Youth Advisory Committee will meet and get a presentation from the Elizabeth Fry Society. They’ll also get updates on the HRM’s housing and homelessness situation and get their 2023 annual report.

The African Decent Advisory Committee will meet and get a presentation on the African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity. They’ll also get a staff report on the African Heritage Month Lunch & Learns and the Anti-Black Racism Speaker Series or AHMLLABRSS for short.

Gov’t Tendies

If all goes according to plan, this section will be back next week!

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