COVID-19 restrictions, such as physical distancing requirements, have impacted the way we move around the region. In response, the Strategic Transportation Planning team was tasked to create the municipality’s Mobility Response: Streets and Spaces program.
To help research, create, evolve and implement the program, an interdepartmental team was formed with representatives from Transportation & Public Works, Planning & Development, Halifax Transit, Corporate Communications, Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE) and Public Safety. Not only was each member of the team solutions-focused, but the collaborative environment helped to reduce process timelines and provide faster approvals.
One aspect of the program included the installation of 16 kilometers of Slow Streets across peninsular Halifax and downtown Dartmouth. Additionally, the expansion of patios or outdoor dining areas were accommodated to support local businesses. According to the program’s public engagement and follow-up survey, 65 per cent of respondents were supportive of the of the Slow Streets initiative, 58 per cent visited extended patio or outdoor dining areas, and 59 per cent felt these spaces encouraged more street life.
In the midst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement was brought to the forefront after a series of tragic events ignited a long overdue call for social justice and shed light on existing institutional racism.
In response, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion/African Nova Scotian Affairs Integration Office (ANSAIO) amplified their work in helping Business Units address the anti-Black racism that still exists within the municipality. These initiatives and resources include:
Additionally, an anti-Black racism project charter has been developed based on recommendations by the Anti-Black Racism Working Group. Through the project charter, the municipality will work on key objectives that will enable it to become a safe and inclusive organization. Over the coming months, a steering committee, representing various parts of the organization, will commence work on the charter and help create a robust municipal anti-Black racism strategy for a safe and inclusive organization.
Thank you to the D&I/ANSAIO team for supporting these initiatives under such difficult circumstances. Your work is vital in continuing the difficult, yet important conversations needed in order to remove barriers and move change forward.
Front row (L to R): Dave Kerr, Denise Ryan, Tracy Zwicker-Forbes, Brittany Pottie, Avery Masewich
Back row (L to R): Kim LeBlanc, Doug Murphy, Sam Bennett, Linda Simmonds
Missing: Joel Aguinaga, Vicki Robertson, Bob Gailey.
Since the software’s launch in July 2018, over 82,000 client accounts have been created with 79,500 program registrants participating in over 11,000 programs. The software also allows residents to process memberships, as well as sign-up for drop-in sessions.
But the capabilities don’t stop there; several transformative offerings are currently in the works.
New in 2020, residents will be able to search gym space, ball diamonds, sports fields, and ice surfaces (starting this winter with the LeBrun Recreation Centre and Sackville Sports Stadium), with the ability to book online coming soon. Equipment loans — including helmets, skates, kayaks, canoes, snowshoes, and more — will also be offered.
As part of the Affordable Access Program, residents who meet the criteria can access heavily discounted or free programs and services through the software. And a new payment-plan option for summer camps will allow registrants enrolling within the full eight weeks of programming to pay just 25 per cent of the cost as of April 1, with remaining deductions occurring throughout May, June and July. New universal key fobs and cards will also be issued to registrants, facilitating accessibility across all community and recreation centres and multi-district facilities.
The ongoing deployment of this enterprise recreation software in centres and facilities across the municipality — many with their own unique site requirements, registration fees, processes and program offerings — is no easy feat. Progress would not be possible without the expertise and adaptability of the project team.
Congratulations to everyone involved for your collaboration, problem solving and commitment to excellence.
Be sure to check out the robust list of events planned for this month which are being promoted via our digital screens and the municipality’s social media platforms.
For their important contributions to the vibrancy of the Halifax region, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to our African Nova Scotian residents and all residents of African descent; the African Nova Scotian Affairs Integration Office (ANSAIO), Office of Diversity & Inclusion; business-unit partners; and our provincial counterparts. Special thanks, this month in particular, for the meaningful work planning and organizing such an inspiring line-up of African Heritage Month events and activities.
In the spirit of celebrating the accomplishments of African Nova Scotians and those of African Descent, I would like to also congratulate our most recent graduates of the Foundations for Aspiring Leaders Program.
Kudos to each of you for achieving this significant career milestone. We are grateful to have you all as part of our municipal team and excited to see how you will continue to apply your new skills.
Brandon Grant, Desmond Lambert, Ali Duale, Johnathon Jones, Ayo Aladejebi, Jacques Dubé, Eric Newbould (Program Coordinator); Missing: Eddy Parsons
During the winter season, municipal crews work diligently throughout the day and night in support of snow and ice removal and clean-up activities.
Whether it’s responding to repeated nor’easter blizzards resulting in significant snowfall accumulation, or temperature fluctuations with intermitent snow, rain, and freezing rain , we’re always exploring new and innovative ways to meet citizens’ needs and improve services. One of the pieces of equipment that was purchased last season was the ice breaking machine, which can be used on sidewalks throughout the region to break up that thick stubborn ice we saw after many of last year's storms.
For always rising to the occasion, no matter what Mother Nature throws at you, we recognize our winter works employees.
At the Halifax Regional Municipality, we recognize diversity and inclusion as core values. As part of our continued efforts to build a diverse and inclusive workforce that accurately represents the communities we serve, we need your help.
Beginning February 26, all employees are encouraged to participate in an online Diversity Census administered by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI), an independent charitable organization specializing in promoting diversity and inclusion in Canada.
Your confidential responses, as part of the census, will help us better understand our current state; set realistic equity, diversity and inclusion goals for our organization; and measure our continued progress.
The results of the census will be used to:
In less than 15 minutes, your participation will help us go far in creating a work environment at the Halifax Regional Municipality that is inclusive for all.
To learn more, please visit the intranet.halifax.ca/MakeYourselfCount or contact the following project leads directly:
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.
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.
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.
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.