Celebrating Excellence

Recognizing some of the municipality's projects, programs and partnerships to show how we are making a difference and living our Plan on a Page.

Recognizing some of the municipality's projects, programs and partnerships to show how we are making a difference and living our Plan on a Page.

  • Collaborating for Success

    24 Feb 2020
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    Members of the MFMO team Catherine Garrison, Jane MacDonald, Lesa Turple, Martin Costello and Neil Laws, with Jerry Blackwood, Director, CCS, and Diane Chisholm, Manager, MFMO.


    When going about everyday tasks, it’s easy to overlook the interconnectedness, significance and volume of the duties at hand.

    Municipal Facilities, Maintenance & Operations (MFMO), a division of Corporate & Customer Services, helps maintain both the interiors and exteriors of over 220 unique facilities across the Halifax region. From Hubbards to Upper Musquodoboit – and everywhere in between – they maintain electrical, plumbing and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, and support landscaping, to keep facility users comfortable and safe. In 2018/19 this work amounted to 19,654 facility work orders.

    What’s more, this important work would not have happened without the collaborative efforts of the Procurement Support Representative (PSR) team, part of Finance & Asset Management. Last fiscal, the PSR team issued almost 8,500 Purchase Orders (POs) based on requests initiated by MFMO.

    The work volumes shared by these two teams is impressive. It also helps illustrate the importance of collaboration in much of what we do. Thank you to both teams for your everyday efforts – keep up the great work.


    Members of the PSR team Kasey Faber, Ashleigh Aalders and Melanie Gillis, with Jacques Dubé, CAO.

    Click here to view photos.

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  • Employee Recognition Program

    18 Feb 2020
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    You can’t beat the feeling of giving and receiving a sincere thank-you for a job well done.

    What we’ve learned from the results of our 2018 Employee Engagement Survey is that, as an organization, we need to do a better job of nurturing that feeling and fostering a more engaged, positive and productive workplace culture.

    This starts with regularly recognizing those who do great work and take pride in providing high-quality public services, making sure they feel valued by their leaders and peers, and encouraging them to be proud of their contributions.

    The new Employee Recognition Program launched by Human Resources makes it easier to do just that.

    As part of the program, anyone can express gratitude to a fellow colleague by filling out a KUDOS note or by writing a thank-you card. These recognition materials have been made available in business-unit common areas for your immediate use.

    Managers/supervisors can also offer a $15 gift card and thank-you card as a special acknowledgement, and directors can offer a $100 gift card and thank-you card for recognition of a significant achievement.

    I encourage everyone to review the full details of the program on the Employee Intranet at intranet.halifax.ca/recognition and learn all the ways you can say thanks today.


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  • Youth rec workers hit it out of the park this summer

    11 Oct 2019
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    This past summer, children of all ages participated in camps held by Recreation Programming. From arts and crafts, to music and dance, to sports and games, more than 807 themed camps were held in 83 locations across the municipality. Of course, the success of these camps would not be possible without our seasonal youth employees.

    These 700+ energetic and talented workers held positions such as camp leaders, lifeguards, activity instructors, and Rec Van staff, just to name a few. Specific employees were trained in inclusion support, ensuring children of all abilities were able to participate.

    To prepare the next generation of summer staff, more than 500 youths (aged 13-15 years) registered for the Youth Leadership Program, where they developed leadership skills and job readiness through fun and challenging learning experiences.

    A special thank you to municipal staff who trained and supported our youth workers – we look forward to seeing them all next summer!

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  • Municipality receives prestigious TOBY® Award

    11 Oct 2019
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    Diane Chisholm, second from right, accepting the TOBY® Award on behalf of the municipality.

    We are incredibly proud to announce that Diane Chisholm, Manager of Municipal Facilities, Maintenance & Operations (MFMO), and her team have received The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY®) in the Public Assembly category for the Halifax Central Library, the highest national achievement in the Facility Management industry.

    The most prestigious and comprehensive program of its kind in the commercial real estate industry, the TOBY® Award program recognizes quality in commercial real estate buildings and rewards excellence in building management.

    The Halifax Central Library was eligible to compete at the national level after receiving BOMA BEST® Platinum certification by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Nova Scotia this past April.

    Kudos once again to the entire team for their commitment to making the municipality an industry leader in this area. Special acknowledgement also goes to Paul Duke, Building Services Coordinator; Kim Peterson, Contract Services & Operations Coordinator; and the Central Library staff for their contribution in making our submission a success.

    With this award, the municipality is now well-positioned to be considered for international recognition as part of this series. Best of luck to MFMO as we advance through to the next phase.

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  • Parks East, keeping our gardens beautiful

    11 Oct 2019
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    Fall is the perfect time to enjoy our beautiful outdoor spaces across the municipality. Of course, this would not be possible without the hard work, vision and creativity from our Parks employees, including the team at Parks East, led by Chris Poole, Horticultural Supervisor.

    This past summer, when evergreens were swallowing a bench near Sullivan’s Pond, Chris and his team didn’t hesitate to revitalize the overgrown area, resulting in a beautiful entrance next to the Welcome to Downtown Dartmouth sign.

    Bee mural at Leighton Dillman Park, planted by the Parks East crew.

    Sustainability and protecting pollinators are also top of mind for the Parks East team. At Leighton Dillman Park, they maintain a wildflower habitat for birds, bees and other insects.

    The wildflower habitat at Leighton Dillman Park.

    Keep an eye out for the always stunning autumnal plants and colours our Parks teams have been working on for the fall season. Well done Chris and team!

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  • Cathy Collett and teammates win Policy Hack case competition

    11 Oct 2019
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    L to R: Cathy Collett, Research & Development Specialist, Halifax Regional Municipality,
    Samantha Ratnam, Senior Corporate Policy Advisor/Privacy Officer, Government of Nova Scotia and Claire Heisler Ryan, Research & Awareness Officer, Government of Nova Scotia.

    Congratulations to Cathy Collett, Research & Development Specialist in Human Resources, and her multi-disciplinary team of federal and provincial public servants on winning the Policy Hack case competition this past summer 2019.

    Cathy first learned of Policy Hack during one of her MPA(M) (master’s in public administration management) classes. Policy Hack is a collaborative, grassroots intergovernmental case competition whereby federal, provincial and municipal employees in Nova Scotia come together to create innovative solutions to complex policy issues currently impacting Nova Scotians.

    Described as a rite of passage for public servants interested in policy by her classmates, once Cathy learned that the municipality would be participating, she knew she had to join in.

    On the first day, Cathy was assigned to a team with colleagues from the provincial and federal governments, and they were given one of eight cases. Then, over six weeks, they worked collaboratively to develop a policy analysis and propose a solution for one of the municipally-submitted cases focused on regulatory modernization and accessibility.

    On June 20, 2019, the teams came back together for Competition Day where they presented their policy response and were assessed by a panel of judges on several factors including, potential viability, actionability and creativity.

    Cathy and her teammates successfully advanced to the final Lightening Round. Here, the remaining two teams were presented with a fictional scenario and had only an hour to prepare and present a plan to the judges, who were acting in character. “Initially, I was most nervous about the Lightning Round,” said Cathy. “Then I realized it was just like playing make-believe with my kids. It was the most fun part of the competition!” Despite the fierce competition, Cathy and her team came out on top.

    Congrats to Cathy, her teammates, and to all municipal employees who participated in this year’s event. Watch for details in the coming months on how you can get involved in next year’s Policy Hack event.

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  • Employee Appreciation BBQ Update

    11 Oct 2019
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    As the fall season begins, we would like to share a brief update on our group-based employee appreciation efforts.

    Our workforce is diverse and is dispersed across our region. And so, to help ensure that our organizational appreciation activities engage the highest number of employees, as a leadership team we have decided to reimagine our Employee Appreciation BBQ. While the finer details of what it will become are still being determined, activities will coincide with March 6, 2020, Employee Appreciation Day. We are committed to ensuring that our ongoing efforts are tailored to our employees, and that they best recognize you and how you like to be thanked.

    Employee appreciation can take many forms, whether through all-employee social events, on-the-ground team activities, or personally recognizing employees’ efforts. We look forward to having a balanced approach to celebrating our shared and individual achievements.

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  • Spotlight on Summer Fun

    26 Jun 2019
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    There is no place quite like HRM in the summer! No matter where you are, there is an undeniable buzz of excitement, particularly around our upcoming civic events.

    Planning and executing marquee events certainly doesn’t happen in isolation. It takes hard work and collaboration from municipal employees across all Business Units to ensure a successful event from start until finish. These events allow citizens from across the municipality to gather, celebrate and take pride in their communities, making HRM such an incredible place to work, live and play.

    Check out a snapshot into just a few of these events. It is my sincere hope that your summer schedules will allow time for you and your families to enjoy these and other great activities happening in our region.

    To celebrate Canada Day on Monday, July 1, there will be a series of free events and interactive celebrations, including Atlantic Canada’s largest free concert, held at Alderney Landing. The municipality’s annual fireworks show will once again take place above the Halifax Harbour. More information and a complete list of events happening across the municipality can be found here.

    Some of our municipal employees celebrating at last year's Pride Parade

    Join us in celebrating Nova Scotia’s 2SLGBTQ+ culture and history at the annual Halifax Pride Festival from July 18-28. Employees from across the organization are encouraged to walk with pride alongside the municipal float at the Pride Parade on Saturday, July 20. By helping us promote diversity and inclusion, you are improving our community and our workplace.

    If you would like to participate or have any questions about the parade, please contact the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at diversity@halifax.ca.

    The year-long countdown to the 2020 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) officially kicks off on July 12! Join us in Grand Parade for cultural performances and remarks from municipal and Indigenous dignitaries. Additionally, we will be welcoming youth athletes competing in the first-ever Atlantic Indigenous Games, taking place at St. Mary's University.

    A collaboration between the municipality, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Canada and Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, NAIG will be the biggest multi-sport games in HRM's history, and will welcome over 5,000 participants from over 750 nations from across North America. Learn more about NAIG here.

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  • Welcome Aboard our Bridging the Gap Interns!

    26 Jun 2019
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    Our Bridging the Gap interns with Mayor Savage

    The municipality is pleased to welcome our Bridging the Gap interns, and are excited to see the diverse expertise, skills and perspectives they will bring to the organization.

    Since 2013, the Bridging the Gap program has offered 102 recent graduates up to 18 months of paid internship in Business Units across the organization. The latest group of interns will be taking part in projects ranging from urban planning and transportation management, to community safety and climate change. We hope you will have an amazing time working with us!

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  • Staying Safe in the Summer Weather

    26 Jun 2019
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    Now that the temperature is rising, we can enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces the municipality has to offer. A special thank you to all of the municipal workers who help keep our outdoor spaces beautiful for all to enjoy.

    Whether you are a municipal employee who is occasionally in the sun, or a worker who is predominately outdoors, it’s important that we all stay safe in hot weather. The following are a few tips to beat the summer heat:

    • Wear light and breathable clothing.
    • Limit exposure to the sun.
    • Drink plenty of water.
    • Wear UVA and UVB protective eyewear.
    • Choose a water-resistant sunscreen and lip balm with SPF of 30 or higher.
    • Protect yourself from UV rays by covering up with loose fitting clothing, long sleeved, long pants and a wide-brimmed hat.

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