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🗞 Can Halifax fix its money problem?

Council is facing a $68.7 million deficit.

Good morning and happy Friday!

Just like that the first work week of the new year is coming to an end. It’s still pretty early into the year but how do you think 2024 is shaping up to be?

Do you think 2024 will be a good year?

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– Alyssa

🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: ⛅️ -4°

Tomorrow: ⛅️ -8°

Next Day: ❄️ -5°

🚗 Driving today? Check out the current traffic conditions and ongoing road closures.


Two fixes for Halifax’s money problems

📸 Left: The Coast, Right: Halifax Regional Municipality

The New Year always comes with the worst hangovers, doesn’t it? When HRM council resumes next Tuesday, Jan. 9, Halifax’s councillors will be confronted once again with a thorny problem: How to dig the region out of a $68.7 million deficit that no one on council seems to know how to wriggle out from under. (That is, without taking a popularity hit this election year by raising taxes or cutting key services.)

In this week’s episode of The Grand Parade podcast, Coast city hall reporter Matt Stickland presents two paths for council to consider—both of which would add millions back to the city’s coffers, he argues, if only councillors could stomach the blowback they’d face. Coast reporter Martin Bauman wonders if the same issues plaguing Canada’s inability to build high-speed rail are what hinders the HRM from making meaningful—and swift—strides toward its goals. And what’s a New Year without a sprinkling of hope?

The two talk about why the HRM has real reason for optimism—and what platform priorities they’ll be paying attention to for the fall’s municipal election.

🤔 Need to know

⚠️ The first snowstorm of 2024 is nigh. Environment Canada has issued a statement warning of 15 to 25cm of snow for mainland Nova Scotia, and wind gusts of up to 60km/hr starting Sunday afternoon and lasting all day Monday.

📜 The municipality is seeking nominations for the next Poet Laureate. The three-year term starts in April 2024 and ends March 2027. Nominations close February 16.*

*Sponsored Post

🗞️ In Other News

🛒 With a growing Asian population, Halifax is becoming home to many bustling specialty grocery stores offering products from across the globe. Former Dal student Zeeshan Khan tells CBC why he decided to open his store Bombay Bazaar last month

🎨 The McDonald’s on Quinpool is set to move locations in the coming weeks and a petition has been started to save the 1994 mural located inside

🚰 The Shelburne water project, a plan put in place to get a community well installed in Shelburne, is trudging forward. With a location selected—the Nova Scotia Community College Shelburne campus—the next step is to raise $214,000 to complete the installation of the water treatment equipment.

💸 A Halifax-based nanocomposite company has agreed to pay out $3M in two class action lawsuits stemming from claims that the company misled its investors.

🥕 A new provincial survey shows that a large portion of Nova Scotians value locally produced food.

🏗️ More funding is being allocated by the province to support the Nova Scotia Building Officials Association’s Work-based Trades Practical Assessment program.

🇨🇦 According to a new Nanos Research survey, almost half of Canadians want a federal election before the one currently scheduled for October 2025.

📰 South end staple Atlantic News owners Michele and Stephen Gerard have found a buyer for their business.

❤️ Yesterday marked the second annual National Ribbon Skirt Day, a day to celebrate Indigenous traditional regalia.

🗓️ Things To Do

Looking for something to do this week? Check out these Coast picks:

🗓 Athletes for Palestine: Join in on a bike ride of solidarity with Gaza para-cycling team the Gaza Sunbirds in a show of peaceful support “for a permanent ceasefire in Palestine.” The 6km ride will begin at Victoria Park and also act as a fundraiser for the Gaza Sunbirds and the Middle East Children’s Alliance | Jan. 6 | 2pm | Free 

🗓 Live Music at the Seahorse Tavern: Shayfer James takes a night off from writing his new album to perform solo at the Seahorse Tavern | Jan. 6 | 8pm | $16.58

🗓 Public Skate: Looking for a way to get out on the ice this weekend? The Zatzman Sportsplex hosts free public skates (no reservation needed) every Saturday until March 31 | Jan. 6 | 12:30-1:20pm | Free 

🗓 Cinderella: Catch one of the closing shows of the retelling of this childhood classic at Neptune Theatre | Jan. 7 | 2pm & 7:30pm | $43-$105 

🗓 Gongfu Tea Tasting: Hey, tea enthusiasts! The Eastern Tea Bar is having a Gongfu Tea Tasting where you’ll be served three to five different types of tea and educated on the history and production of each steep | Jan. 7 | 4pm | $34.50

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings

🍴 Where To Eat & Drink

Durty Nelly’s: In the mood for the ultimate comfort meal? Try Durty Nelly’s classic bowl of soup and toasted sandwich during lunch hours (after 12:30pm). 

2 Doors Down: New menu item alert! Next time you’re craving the catch of the day, try 2 Doors Down’s new caramelized sea scallops served with General Tso pork belly, kimchi salad and jasmine rice. 

Envie Halifax: End your week off with Envie’s special spicy soba noodle stir fry, a vegan treat made with sauteed vegetables, edamame and sesame seeds all topped with hoisin lime dressing.

Mezza: Lebanese cuisine hotspot Mezza has introduced a new menu item for a limited time only—the EPIC Greek Bowl with double the chicken. 

Chanoey’s Pasta: It’s always the right day for pasta. Chanoey’s Pasta special of the week is a shrimp penne Arrabiatta—garlic butter, olive oil, vegetables and shrimp topped with spicy tomato sauce and parmesan cheese.

🛍️ Shop Talk

Happy birthday: Lou Pecou turns two today! In honour of the special occasion, the pizza restaurant is collaborating with Souls Harbour. For every two pizzas bought today, one will be donated back to the community. 

January clearance sale: Studio 14 Gifts & Gallery is having a post-Christmas sale with most items ranging from $5 to $20. Stop by between 10am and 5pm Tuesday to Saturday. 

Closed for renovations: Bar Sofia is closed until further notice while new soundproofing measures are being installed. Why does a restaurant need better soundproofing? To host more DJ nights of course. 

New year, new closet: The Has Bin wants a fresh start in 2024 and needs your help clearing out its inventory. Until Jan. 7 receive 30% off storewide

Quinpool’s newest addition: A new Indian cuisine restaurant, Chaii Samosa, is coming to 6430 Quinpool Road. An official open date has yet to be announced.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Documents related to the Jeffrey Epstein lawsuit have been released to the public and more documents are expected to be unveiled over the next few weeks. 

• The original image of Mickey Mouse, Steamboat Willie, has become copyright-free

• Nova Scotia’s minimum wage is set to increase to $15.20 on April 1, 2024. 

• Effective January 3, the rent cap in Nova Scotia is at 5%. That’s more than double the previous 2% rate, which was put in place as a COVID relief measure back in 2020.

The Coast’s Martin Bauman dives in for this week’s harbour report—which also ventures into Irish rock bands, Brazilian cocktails and the midnight sun in Canada’s far north.

Meet the Halifax couple who kayaked 400 kms from the city’s north end to Cape Breton.

That’s it!

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