Session One: Summary

The first public policy development session was a huge success with a number of great ideas that fall both in and out of the scope of the Community Members’ Bill project. For many reasons from cost to jurisdictional challenges some ideas will not move forward in the process. Despite this, many of these ideas are actionable. We’ve laid out proposed actions and next steps for all of the specific ideas we pulled from the session.

  • Property boundary markers. Where private property owners face challenges as they endeavour to sell, transfer, expand, or build on their land because they’re unable to clearly identify the boundaries to their property. This idea falls within the scope of the project and will proceed to a vote after further discussion and development.
  • Amendment to the Liquor Control Act to make it easier for underage musicians and other performers to perform at licensed events and establishments. This idea falls within the scope of the project and will proceed to a community vote after further discussion and development.
  • Bring McNab’s Island into the provincial parks system. McNab’s Island is already a part of the provincial parks system. Joachim has written a letter to the minister asking for further evaluation of the ideas presented around McNab’s Island.
  • Organize an annual beach clean-up. This idea does not require legislation to proceed. The MLA has agreed to sponsor an annual beach clean-up with local volunteers along the Northwest Arm from the Rotary to the effective end of Coburg Road at the water. Details will follow as the event is organized but participants can expect further information before the end of Spring this year.
  • Legislation prohibiting out-of-province procurement. This idea does not fall within the scope of the project and can not proceed. Reducing inter-provincial trade barriers is a good thing and has served all provinces well. International trade agreements limit the level of protectionism allowed in economic policy. The MLA will send a letter to Minister of Business, Mark Furey to request that further efforts be undertaken to promote economic development within the province by better enabling Nova Scotia business to participate in procurement opportunities. Currently the Province engages in a number of activities to provide ensure Nova Scotian businesses can sell to government.
  • Ensure protection for waterways left unprotected by changes at the federal level. This idea does not fall within the scope of the project and can not proceed. The new Federal government has indicated they are willing to move on this issue though. MLA will send a letter to MP for Halifax, Andy Fillmore as well as the federal Minister of Environment to encourage consultation on this issue.
  • An important theme put forward during the session surrounded the role of seniors in community. This theme did not produce any specific legislation ideas but the conversation highlighted some key issues for seniors. This theme will be worked on outside of this process in an effort to further develop specific ideas to better engage with seniors. One specific issue that emerged was the need to reduce segregation of seniors and to work toward better inter-generational engagement. MLA will send a letter to Minister responsible for Seniors to encourage the Province to look into student-senior housing and volunteerism in the Netherlands.
  • Active transportation, healthy communities, and the Motor Vehicle Act. Amending the Motor Vehicle Act does not fall within the scope of the project and can not proceed. This, however, is an important issue with broad interest and support in Halifax Chebucto and will be continued in further community discussions intended to assess the role of the Province in improving conditions for cyclists and championing active transportation as a health promotion tool. Joachim will communicate with HRM about the potential benefits of highlighting these factors in density bonusing. Joachim has also worked with Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to convene a Minister’s Panel on Active Transportation. Further, in early 2016, in concert with the Minister’s Panel, Joachim will call on Andy Fillmore, Jennifer Watts, and Waye Mason to jointly host a community discussion on planning, active transport, and community engagement with the help of a small steering committee.