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.
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.
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!
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.
As the fall season begins, we would like to share a brief update on our group-based employee appreciation efforts.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.