From now until October 17 you as a citizen of HRM can vote to elect a Mayor and Council. Confronted with the climate crisis, COVID crisis, housing crisis, transportation crisis and social equity crisis we know we need a different kind of government; one that represents and governs for the common good— one that will help keep us from the tipping point. To aid you in your choice FHC sent a 6-question survey to the electoral candidates. Thematically the questions relate to measuring the candidates’ level of support for:
- Legislative protection of the Halifax Common;
- Reversing proposals for four 16, 26, 28, 29-storey towers + 800 underground parking spots on the South Common at Carlton, College, Robie, Spring Garden Road;
- Increasing green space and connectivity on the Halifax Peninsula and in HRM;
- Increasing access for amateur players on the effectively privatized Wanderer’s Grounds;
- Opposing the Province’s plans for an 8-storey 500 stall parking garage (NS Museum) and a 1000-stall parking garage (former CBC-TV site) on the Central Common;
- the 1994 Halifax Common Master Plan especially as it relates to the new Halifax Common Master Plan
One-third of all candidates responded, BUT NO RESPONSE was received from: Mayor Savage, Steve Stretch (District 1) Sam Austin (District 5), Tony Mancini (District 6), Lindell Smith (District 8), Richard Zurawski (District 12), Lisa Blackburn (District 14), Paul Russell (District 15) and Tim Outhit (District 16). Could disinterest of these elected officials be the reason that the best interests of the Common are so ignored?
Based on the responses FHC did receive we decided in certain cases to endorse candidates. Please read the linked responses and consider carefully. Then PLEASE vote! And remind 10 friends to-its time to engage!
Mayor: Max Taylor answered as a true friend of the common.
District 2: Incumbent David Hendsbee responded. Clinton Desveaus wrote to state that he supports everything we do!
District 4: Ryan Burris, Darryl Johnson, Jamie MacNeil, Chris Mont and John Stewart responded.
District 7: Jen Powley would be a best friend of the Common! Especially compared to incumbent Waye Mason. During his two terms of office Councillor Mason has not been a true believer in decisions for the common good. Some examples are supporting the 16, 26, 28 & 29 storey highrises at Robie and Spring Garden Rd; the Centre Plan Corridors which will create incentives for thousands of affordable housing units to be destroyed-especially along the perimeter of the Common; and voting to support the easements and encroachments for parking garages on the Central Common instead of leading the council charge to have the province find real, doable solutions.
To get to the heart of the matter please read and compare Powley and Mason’s responses!
District 8: Virginia Hinch has given informed, open and very thoughtful answers. This is a sharp contrast to Lindell Smith whose actions have spoken larger than his decision to not reply. These include his 2019 motion to have a Development Agreement process begin for a 23-storey high-rise on Danny Chedrawe’s Cruickshanks property on Robie Street next to the 25-storey tower at the Willow Tree. This motion was against HRM staff report and broke the Centre Plan. It will further degrade the public’s experience on the North Common with more wind, shadow and traffic. Lindell did not defend the 800 citizens who wanted St Pat’s to be retained for pubic purpose, or Imagine Bloomfield citizens-both properties have been sold to private developers for private profit.
District 9: Bill Carr, Shaun Clark and Gerry Lonergan give excellent Common-positive responses. Gerry is a Quinpool Road business owner and a resident who is well-placed to understand the district; Bill is a long-standing independent actor, motivational speaker, engaged citizen and satirist (that can’t hurt); active citizen Shaun is a stay-at-home-parent who lives with a disability so “gets it” on all the changes we need. Please do your own research here.
Unfortunately Shawn Cleary responses confirm FHC’s direct experience with the incumbent and that he is not a friend of the Common. The earliest example is his betrayal of citizens with his undying support for George Armoyan’s 25-storey high-rise at the Willow Tree in exchange for 10 affordable housing units for 15 years. That project has now flipped into a Shannex seniors complex with no affordable housing units. Subsequent encounters definitely indicate there’s something off beat in his vision for the heart of Halifax.
District 10: Kathryn Morse gives very thoughtful reasoned responses!
District 11: Hannah Munday gives very thoughtful reasoned responses!
District 12: Eric Jury gives very thoughtful Common-favourable answers!!
District 13: Derek Bellmore gives exceptionally, thoughtful, Common-favourable replies!!
District 14,15 & 16 candidates did not respond including: LIsa Blackburn (incumbent), Greg Frampton, Mary Lou LeRoy, Anthony Mrkonjic, Jay Aaron Roy, Paul Russell, David Schofield and Tim Outhit.