Making a difference in our region

Highlighted below are a few recent decisions by Regional Council that reflect steps being taken by the municipality to make a difference in the Halifax region. For more details regarding all matters deliberated by Council and the direction given to municipal staff, please see the action summaries which are posted to the online meeting agendas within one business day as well as the meeting minutes which are posted online once approved by Regional Council.

Highlights from Tuesday, May 17, 2022

101 Old Beaver Bank Road

Municipality signs ten-year lease with the Lions Club of Sackville

Regional Council has approved an agreement with the Lions Club of Sackville for a less than market value lease agreement for a ten-year term.

Less than market value lease agreements allow the municipality to support community organizations by having them pay less than fair market rent for municipal space in order to help with operational costs.

The Lions Club of Sackville has operated at this site through various lease agreements with the former County of Halifax since 1980. 

For more information, read the staff report.

*Note: This motion will be final when the meeting minutes are approved by Regional Council.

Nova Bus e bus

Municipality to purchase 60 electric buses

The municipality will purchase up to 60 electric buses, with half to be delivered in 2022/23 and the rest in 2023/24. Funding is from the 2021/22 Multi-Year Capital Plan

The project will replace 60 existing diesel-powered buses. Additionally, the Ragged Lake Transit Center will be expanded and energy retrofitted to accommodate new buses and future growth.

The new electric buses will be used to replace diesel vehicles that are at, and beyond, their useful life. Older transit buses are costly to maintain, exhibit high downtime, and are less environmentally friendly than electric buses. 

As part the HalifACT commitment to a net-zero community by 2050, this project is the first step towards Halifax Transit’s zero-emission target. Halifax Transit is currently working towards a sustainable fuels strategy that is forecast to result in the total elimination of diesel-powered buses from the service in the long term.

For more information, read the staff report

*Note: This motion will be final when the meeting minutes are approved by Regional Council.

A photo of a crowd.

Municipality approves grants for 60 special events

Grants for 60 special events have been approved, including for the Halifax County Exhibition, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the National AccessAbility Week Fun Fair. Regional Special Event Grants include the following four programs: 

  • Community Celebrations program: provides support for small scale community events that are organized for the benefit and enjoyment of residents, coincides with a community gathering or civic holiday, and are free to the public to attend.
  • Established Community Festivals program: provides support for existing community events that are organized primarily for the benefit and enjoyment of residents, are accessible to the public with free or low-cost activities, have been in existence for a minimum of three consecutive years.
  • Significant Anniversaries program: provides support for community events organized around major quarterly significant anniversaries that celebrate the municipality’s heritage and community. 
  • Cultural Events & Showcases program: provides support for arts and culture festivals , are accessible to the public with free or low-cost activities.

For more information, read the staff report.

*Note: This motion will be final when the meeting minutes are approved by Regional Council.

Highlights of recent Regional Council decisions

Needham Community Centre

Municipality signs five-year less than market value lease with the Needham Preschool and Daycare

Regional Council has approved an agreement with the Needham Preschool and Daycare located at the Needham Community Centre, for a less than market value lease agreement for a five-year term. The lease is consistent with other less than market agreements the municipality has in place for non-profit daycare/preschool/childcare tenants located in facilities owned by the municipality.

Less than market value lease agreements allow the municipality to support community organizations by having them pay less than fair market rent for municipal space in order to help with operational costs.

The Needham Community Centre is scheduled to be replaced with a new facility and is anticipated to be ready for occupancy in April 2028. The current facility will remain operational until the new facility is complete on the site across the street which will eliminate the need for swing space during construction.

For more information, read the staff report.

Vehicle driving through flooded section of road.

Regional Council approves planning process to reduce or negate flood risk

Regional Council has directed municipal staff to develop an implementation plan for ten National Disaster Mitigation Program projects throughout the municipality. Municipal funding for these projects will come from the Street Recapitalization Program, HalifACT, and the Halifax Water capital plan.

The National Disaster Mitigation Program is designed to identify and addresses rising flood risks and costs, and builds the foundation for informed mitigation investments that could reduce, or even negate, the effects of flood events.

Projects include:

•    Bedford Highway, from Union Street to Highway 102 (Sackville Rivers)
•    Shubenacadie Lakes area
•    Karlsons Wharf, at Upper Water Street
•    Inglis Street, at Barrington Street
•    Highway 2, from Holland Road to Miller Lake Road, Fall River
•    Pleasant Street, near Dartmouth General Hospital
•    Cole Harbour Road at Perrin Drive
•    Shore Road, Eastern Passage
•    Hammonds Plains Road at Bluewater Road
•    Mount Saint Vincent University

For more information, read the staff report.

Ukrainian Flag

Regional Council approves $50,000 for humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine

Regional Council has provided a $50,000 grant to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation to support humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine as a result of the invasion by Russia.

The Canada-Ukraine Foundation is raising funds to deliver aid and assistance both in Ukraine and to Ukrainians who have sought refuge in bordering countries and is working with Ukrainian government ministries, who are in the best position to ensure that donations meet the needs of the Ukrainian people.

The municipality has previously expressed support for Ukraine by raising the Ukrainian flag at Grand Parade, projecting blue and yellow lights on City Hall, and flying the Ukrainian flag on the Macdonald Bridge. Halifax Transit buses have displayed a “Stand With Ukraine” message and the Ukrainian flag has been flown on Halifax Transit ferries.

For more information, read the staff report.

City Hall in summer

Municipality to explore friendship accords with Indigenous partners

Regional Council has directed municipal staff to explore establishing friendship accords with Indigenous partners, with a goal to help cultivate new relationships based on mutual trust and respect and provide a framework for future collaboration.

This initiative aligns with the municipality’s Statement of Reconciliation, as well as the recommendations of the Cornwallis Task Force.

A friendship accord is a formal agreement that publicly declares the commitment of two or more governments and/or communities to work together in a long-term relationship based on mutual understanding and respect. While not a legally binding document, it expresses shared principles and values underpinning the relationship of the parties, as well as a mutually agreed upon framework for how the signatories will work together in the future. 

Friendship accords have been used in the Indigenous-municipal context across Canada as a means of advancing reconciliation. Overcoming such barriers and cultivating new relationships based on mutual respect and trust is at the heart of the process of developing friendship accords.

For more information, read the staff report.