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.

  • Parks East, keeping our gardens beautiful

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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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  • Prioritizing Self Care

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    Now more than ever, organizations are realizing the health benefits for employees who prioritize self care. Investing in self care, whether that is being physically active, ensuring we are getting adequate sleep, setting boundaries or practicing gratitude helps us to develop skills in resiliency, no matter what life throws our way.

    Our Health Safety & Wellness team provides employees the tools they need to avoid burnout, helping to create a culture of physical, mental and spiritual wellness.

    Your Wellness Specialist has been busy over the past few months facilitating Lunch & Learn and team health sessions at various Business Units, performing health audits, coordinating relaxation massage clinics, and providing quick tips on Wellness Wednesdays.

    Be a leader in wellness by championing healthier options among your colleagues. If you are interested in learning more about the services provided by our wellness expert or want to be a ‘wellness champion’, please contact Melanie Bower, Wellness Specialist at bowerme@halifax.ca.

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  • Developing the Possibilities

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    On March 12, leaders from across the organization gathered for the HRM Leadership Summit. It was an opportunity to reward, recognize and appreciate our leaders for all that they do. Attendees heard from inspirational speakers, connected with colleagues and had fun. Yes, there was even Bollywood dancing.

    The gathering also provided a chance to hear from employees and celebrate our successes.

    Hanita Koblents, Major Project Planner, Project Planning & Design, reminded us of the lasting impact the Argyle & Grafton Streetscape Project has had on our city and region. And, how operationally we stretched out of our comfort zone to accept infrastructure that was not really ‘needed’ for anything, like the light canopy. Elements like this and others, have helped encourage unique events and uses for the space.


    Lessons learned from this project will undoubtedly help shape our approach for reimagining the new Cogswell District. Donna Davis, Project Manager, Cogswell Redevelopment Project, took us through the approved 90 per cent construction plan. In response to public consultation, there will be an emphasis on Art & Commemoration, highlighting communities in the area and their celebrated histories.

    As well, we are gearing up for the 2020 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), the largest multi-sporting event ever to be held in Halifax (K’jipuktuk) and Nova Scotia. Paul Forrest, Project Manager, 2020 NAIG, shared some of the details on the municipality’s in-kind support of this marquee event which will see 5,000 athletes descend on our city from July 19 to 26, 2020.

    North American Indigenous Games 2020

    Click the play button on the image above to view NAIG 2020 video.

    We look forward to hosting more events like this one, and involving even more of our leaders and employees from all levels of the organization.

    View a selection of photos from the event.

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  • Our History is Your History

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    Employees and community members came together throughout February to participate in this year’s African Heritage Month (AHM) activities which included our inaugural flag raising, employee tours of Africville Museum and the Black Cultural Centre, lunch & learns, a panel discussion and more.

    Business Units also took initiative to celebrate AHM in their own ways arranging guest speakers, themed displays and trivia, and cookouts.

    Within the province, there are over 50 historic African Nova Scotian communities with a long, deep and complex history dating back over 200 years. Meaningful participation in events like AHM show how we are honouring this shared history and living the organizational value of Diversity & Inclusion.

    View select photos, taken by Bailey Bowden, Human Resources Specialist Intern, from events hosted by our African Nova Scotian Affairs & Integration Office (ANSAIO).

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  • Spring – and transformation – is in the air

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    Spring is a time of rejuvenation and that same renewal is happening across our organization and community. See how our spaces have been made over to better serve employees and our citizens.

    We have been working to implement recommendations outlined in the Corporate Accommodations Study. The recommendations focus on improving staff accommodations through consistent space and furniture standards, creating more collaborative and functional spaces and reducing our overall real estate footprint. Human Resources/Office of Diversity & Inclusion and Solid Waste Resources, a division of Transportation & Public Works have both successfully relocated.

    Human Resources/Office of Diversity & Inclusion, now located at Purdy's Wharf, Tower II

    Solid Waste Resources, now located at Acadia Centre in Lower Sackville

    Recently, the Alderney Gate Pedway celebrated its grand reopening. The revitalized space serves as a hub for gathering and better connects adjoining facilities – creating a vibrant and diverse space for all to enjoy.

    The Alderney Gate Pedway Revitalization Project.

    The Zatzman Sportsplex has also recently reopened. The space has transformed into a more inclusive, comfortable, and exciting place to be. Thoughtful details help ensure everyone in our community, no matter age or ability, can enjoy and fully participate in all aspects of sport and recreation.

    The renovation and expansion of the Zatzman Sportsplex includes many upgrades like a new gymnasium, renovated locker and change rooms, updated fitness and pool facilities, improved accessibility, visibility and security, and more.


    It is clear by these transformations, and many others, that the work we do each day demonstrates performance excellence and has a lasting effect on how our citizens experience our communities.

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