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🗞️ Tough budget decisions ahead for Halifax

Plus, Nova Scotia sees new minimum wage

Good morning!

Welcome to the HRM “Budget Playoffs,” Coast edition. Today marks the first of two Budget Adjustment List debates at HRM council—which means in today’s Coast Daily, we’re going deep into the issues.

A few weeks ago, we asked what you thought of Budget Season so far. And while most of you had an opinion one way or another (about a third of Coast readers who replied felt the HRM’s budget “could go either way,” depending on what received BAL funding), the second-highest answer was, “what is a Budget Adjustment List?”

That’s where I come in. Join me—your city hall reporter—in a special Coast Daily takeover as I bring you up to speed on my favourite day of the year!

– Matt

🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: ☀️

Tomorrow: 🌤️

Next Day: 🌨️ 3°

🚗 Driving, biking or busing today? Check out the current traffic conditions and ongoing road closures.

CITY HALL: BUDGET TAKEOVER

What is a Budget Adjustment List, anyway? The Coast explains

📸 Coast illustration

Here’s a bit of tempered good news: Next year, Halifax looks poised to move to a four-year budget cycle—which will be a net positive for the city, if council can pull it off. In lieu of setting an annual budget (which can breed short-term thinking), a four-year budget would nudge council toward setting long-term priorities—like, say, an Integrated Mobility Plan, or a Strategic Priorities Plan—and spending accordingly. It’s a change that has been in the works for a while—and everything about first-year Chief Administrative Officer Cathie O’Toole’s CV suggests she’s among the best available to lead the charge.

But what about for this year? That leaves us with the HRM’s Budget Adjustment List. Let us walk you through the weeds of the BAL and how the debates around it will dictate Halifax’s future.

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This 10-time Tony Award nominee follows a group of unemployed steelworkers looking to earn some desperately needed cash. While spying on their wives on a “Girls’ Night Out” the friends realize how much the girls enjoy watching male strippers. 

The men come up with a bold and unclothed way to make some money. In preparing for their striptease debut, they find themselves extremely exposed. As they conquer their fears, self-consciousness and prejudices they find the courage to "let it go".

On stage until May 12. Tickets start at $40. Book today.

CITY HALL: BUDGET TAKEOVER

How did we get here? A recap of the HRM’s
2024-25 budget season

📸 Coast illustration

It’s been a mixed bag of a budget year for Halifax. Thanks to councillor Tim Outhit blowing up the budget process in November—directing staff to draft the HRM’s budget by starting with Halifax’s Strategic Priorities Plan, rather than deferring to previous budgets—today’s spending debates are some of the most streamlined in recent years. That isn’t to say they’re without difficult decisions to make.

Halifax is setting itself up to correct a $3 billion mistake in the suburbs, and is actually, genuinely starting police reform. But it’s also a city which—thanks to a full-on transportation planning crisis—is undermining its own climate aims and, in turn, setting itself up for a bleaker future.

🗞️ In Other News

🔥 Nearly a year after HRM council resolved to add more emergency exits to Halifax’s risk-prone subdivisions, residents of one Upper Tantallon neighbourhood say they’re left waiting for change with another wildfire season approaching.

📈 Carbon pricing changes kicked in Apr. 1—prompting a small protest at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border—but what does it actually mean for most Nova Scotians? CTV News broke down what to expect with everything from gasoline, to diesel, to propane.

🏳️‍⚧️ More than 400 Canadian artists—including Halifax’s Elliott Page, Jenn Grant and T. Thomason—have signed onto an open letter against anti-trans legislation.

🏫 Nova Scotia’s allocation of federally-imposed international study permits will lead to steep cuts at some of the province’s post-secondary schools—but not everywhere is affected equally.

🏥 A Halifax mental-health facility’s flooding has prompted one Yarmouth health-care centre to reallocate beds to cover a province-wide shortage.

🍼 A Halifax daycare is looking for a new home amid a child-care shortage as the building it leases is set for demolition.

SPONSORED BY BURGER BASH

🍔 Halifax Burger Bash April 11 - 20, 2024 🍔

The Coast’s 12th annual Halifax Burger Bash, presented with Garrison Brewing, is when doing good tastes great, with restaurants serving special burgers supporting Feed Nova Scotia. Head over to burgerbash.ca and check out the drool-worthy burger listings!

🤔 Trivia Tuesday

In addition to Easter, Sunday marked International Transgender Day of Visibility in Nova Scotia and elsewhere. When was the annual day founded?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

SPONSORED BY TRANSAT

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🗓️ Things To Do

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

🗓 Mandy Patinkin: Being Alive: Described as a “dazzling musical journey you’ll never forget,” Being Alive brings the Tony and Golden Globe-winning actor and singer to Dalhousie’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium for a one-night-only show. | Apr. 4 | 7:30pm | From $89

🗓 Bruce Guthro’s Songwriters Circle: Take in an “evening of intimate performances and storytelling” at the Bruce Guthro Theatre, with guest sets from Dave Gunning, Irish Mythen and David Myles. | Apr. 5-6 | 8pm | From $76.47

🗓 Halifax Vintage Paper Show: Head to the Halifax Forum this Saturday and browse comics, collectible cards, antique books and vintage posters in this all-day trade fair. | Apr. 6 | 10am-4pm | $5

🗓 Hawksley Workman: Twenty-five years after Workman’s For Him and the Girls debut, the former JUNO Award-winning “Best New Artist of the Year” brings his eclectic act to Halifax’s Light House Arts Centre. | Apr. 6 | 8pm | $49.57

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings.

⚓️ What’s In The Harbour

➡️ The NYK Demeter container ship leaves Halifax for Antwerp, Belgium, around 3am.

🚢 The 148,992-tonne CMA CGM A. Lincoln container ship is expected to arrive in Halifax from Tanger Med, Morocco, anytime between 7am and 3pm.

🚢 The Oceanex Sanderling ro-ro/cargo ship is scheduled to arrive in Halifax from St. John’s, NL, between 8am and 11am.

🚢 The 294-metre-long MSC Sao Paulo V container ship—accompanied by the Ocean Taiga and Ocean Raynald T. tugboats—is due at the South End Container Terminal from Quebec City around 8:15am.

🚢 The ONE Blue Jay container ship is slated to arrive in Halifax from Colombo, Sri Lanka, around 3:45pm.

🚢 The 183-metre-long East Coast oil tanker is expected to berth at Dartmouth’s Irving Oil Terminal around 5:10pm. It arrives from Saint John, NB.

👀 In Case You Missed It

🍸 A Halifax bartender will represent Canada on the world stage in a global cocktail competition this fall.

💸 Nova Scotia’s minimum wage rose by 20 cents to $15.20—the lowest of any Atlantic Canadian province.

That’s it!

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