For too long, HRM has avoided direct involvement in promoting affordable housing by passing the responsibility to the Province. But local government should be all about meeting local needs. If amendments to the HRM Charter are needed, let’s get the legislation changed. Press for rent controls. Housing must meet the needs of all residents, from small-options homes, to students, to supported housing. This includes landlord licensing. Let’s make affordable housing a FIRST priority as we develop the Cogswell Interchange lands. The development of Cogswell should be led by a community consultation using a process like deliberative dialogue.
HRM needs demolition controls. Changes to the HRM Charter are needed to protect existing neighbourhoods. The draft Centre Plan is weighted too heavily in favour of big developers. Let’s re-think it and host a community-led consultation. HRM also needs to acquire legislative protection for the Halifax Common and increase parks and green space on the Peninsula with a vision for an interconnected green network of active transportation routes.
Environment and Climate Change
HRM has been slow to do the many things needed to get to grips with the issue of our time. Climate change will threaten Nova Scotia’s coasts so it is imperative to control GHGs. Building standards must favour keeping existing buildings, improving them with energy retrofits, and must allow new construction only to the highest energy efficiency standards. A serious shift to public transit is vital: we need to eliminate ridership fees.
Fairness in taxation is fundamental. The residential owner has borne too great a share of the property tax burden. The system needs to be adjusted with differential categories so it’s fair for business owners too. HRM needs to take an active role in the assessment process and demand the Province change laws as needed.
This includes the police. Mere apologies are not good enough. Real community consultation with actual follow-through is essential.
The province is working towards inclusive communities with Education and Built Environment Standards, but people with disabilities are still an afterthought. Let’s work to empower people with disabilities.
Arts and Culture
We have a gem in our unique arts and cultural sector. HRM needs to dedicate more of its annual budget to its artistic and cultural communities. The downtown is home to Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), Canada’s oldest degree-granting art school, as well as other institutions and organizations all about music, theatre, dance, film, visual and media arts and other forms of expression. According to a 2009 report by The Nova Scotia Cultural Action Network research on indicators of success in the creative economy concluded that Halifax Regional Municipality, with 35% of the province’s population, considerably outperforms other cities of its size or larger when it comes to the talent and creativity of its residents.
These need to be supported politically, financially and socially.
Community Input and Transparency
We need to listen to and acknowledge people who have experiences different than our own. Powley wants to do politics differently, and will form an Advisory Committee to seek the guidance of leaders from a variety of our communities. The meetings of the group will be open to the public.
Like the province, the municipality should have a registry of lobbyists. This will help to increase the transparency of interactions with elected officials.
HRM needs a Better Council.
Vote for a Better Council.
Vote for Jen.
Jen Powley is a candidate for councillor in District 7.
Jen has lived with multiple sclerosis throughout her adult life. She knows what it’s like to face challenges and make good things happen. She listens, she thinks, and she acts.
Let’s work together to get Jen elected!
You have the opportunity to be a part of something special.
Help Jen become a Different Voice for Halifax by donating to her campaign.
On October 17th, vote Jen Powley for council.