I’m proud of the things this council has accomplished over the past four years in District 6 and across the municipality.
The environment has been a top priority. The council recently approved the HalifACT 2050 plan, our long-term climate change action plan. I was proud to lead the charge on advocating for the ban on single-use plastic bags and supporting the motion for staff to consider creating a blue bin program to replace plastic blue bags. Staff did an amazing job on our Litter Doesn’t Belong Here campaign and we continue to advocate for Extended Producer Responsibility at the municipal level.
We are continuing to work towards more reliable transit in Burnside, Dartmouth Crossing and across District 6. We have also made major improvements to our Access-A-Bus program with the Access-A-Bus Continuous Improvement Service Plan. This plan includes investments in new technology, achieving a more adaptable service and the introduction of integrated trips, all contributing to a more efficient, accessible service for passengers. We are also making transit more accessible by expanding our Low Income Bus Pass program that provides monthly transit passes 50% off for residents who qualify.
Another important addition to our transportation network could be Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber or Lyft. As an ardent supporter of these organizations, I look forward to more progress in the regulatory framework to come.
A huge area of growth in District 6 will be the Port Wallace community. The Regional Plan identified Port Wallace as a potential future growth area. A Port Wallace Public Participation Committee was created in 2014 to oversee public engagement and to make recommendations regarding the secondary planning strategy for the area. Once the draft policy is complete, further public consultation will take place. More detail on this project can be found here: halifax.ca/about-halifax/regional-community-planning/regional-plan/port-wallace.
Policing has been a highly debated topic over the past few months. As a Board of Police Commissioner, I have introduced several motions to help increase public confidence and safety. We are looking at how to re-imagine our Police services, including following the Wortley Report recommendations, requesting a report on Body Worn Cameras, and cancelling the purchase of an armoured vehicle.
I would like to see an increase in resources and funding for traffic calming as this is a consistent issue in our communities. I have also been advocating for more mental health support for our fire and police services.
Recreational opportunities bring our community together, help residents get active and much more. I’ve been so pleased to support projects like the Dartmouth North Outdoor Public Library, The North Grove (formerly Dartmouth North Community Food Centre and Dartmouth North Family Centre) One Roof campaign and farm, and with my Council colleagues, the donation of a retired access-a-bus for our local Boys and Girls club.
Our Parks and Recreation team are amazing and have completed new basketball courts on Farrell Street, in Landrace Park and at Caledonia Junior High. We have new tennis courts at Mount Edward Road and HRM’s first pickleball courts in Morash Park. We are making recreation more accessible by creating an accessible path and water bike at Cyril Smith Park, adding new steps, bridges and a wharf at Shubie Park and completing renovations to Farrell Hall.
I was able to support some great community organizations like our paddling clubs, numerous schools and sport teams and provided funds towards the McIntosh Run bridge. Finally, we are looking to invest in more public art. The Victoria Road pedway mural has recently been restored, and we are looking at some more opportunities to incorporate some beautiful artwork in our community.
Multiple events over the past four years, have allowed our community to grow and learn together. Partnering with the local community, we started the annual East Dartmouth Community Barbecues and Tree Lightings. I continue to support the Shubie Park Tree Lighting and last year established two new events for high school students. The Young Women’s Leadership Forum invited grade 10 students to City Hall for a panel discussion by strong female leaders in our community and the International Students Reception that welcomed our international high school students from Prince Andrew and Dartmouth High with a special City Hall celebration.
Thank you to everyone – staff, colleagues, residents and volunteers – who have helped me to make these projects, programs and events possible.
I’m looking forward to continue to serve you in District 6!