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.

  • 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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  • Continuous Improvement: One Light Bulb at a Time

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    Every day, employees across our organization display excellence in their work. From improving products, services or processes, our employees are always delivering on their jobs with an eye to continuous improvement. Whether incremental improvements over time, or breakthrough advances all at once, there is no wrong way to approach process improvement.

    A recent initiative undertaken by Municipal Facilities Maintenance & Operations (MFMO), a division of Corporate & Customer Services, in collaboration with Halifax Transit and Energy & Environment, shows how something as simple as replacing lighting can improve the work environment for our teams and provide cost savings over time. The MFMO team is continuing to work through a list of projects aimed at improving how and where we work.

    Check out a before and after of Halifax Transit’s Ragged Lake Depot.

    A before photo of one of the service bays at Halifax Transit’s Ragged Lake Depot.
    Note the mix of 32-watt F32T8 fluorescents.

    An after photo of the same bay re-lamped with our 10-watt 5000K Philips InstantFITs.
    A dramatic improvement!

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  • Out & About with the CAO

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    As I continue to make my way around the municipality, I am continually impressed with our employees and the remarkable work they do. I want to highlight our Parks & Recreation team who are creating meaningful experiences and welcoming spaces across our municipality. Katelyn Mcleod, a Youth Advocate Worker based out of the Youth Centre in Sackville, is doing incredible work and their new space, The Den, shows just how successful we are when we work with partner organizations on a common goal. The Den officially opened this past fall and is a safe and inclusive space for youth located in the Acadia Centre.


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  • At your service

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    Performance excellence. Continuous improvement. Customer service. These terms are likely more familiar to you now than they were just a year ago. But they’re much more than just topics to discuss at team meetings. They’re at the core of our journey to becoming a public-sector organization that strives for excellence in all that we do.

    Of course, performance excellence is not new. Teams of dedicated employees across our organization have been demonstrating it in their daily activities long before we formalized it as a corporate priority. Performance excellence is now a systematic and strategic way for us all to deliver on our municipal priorities of Service Delivery and Service Excellence, by providing efficient, effective and sustainable delivery of services that respond to our customers’ needs, while simultaneously lowering delivery costs.

    From the roads and rides we share, to the public spaces and culture we enjoy, and the essential services we access – municipal programs and services impact the lives of our customers, arguably more than any other level of government.

    For this reason, municipalities must strive for continuous improvement with a goal of excellence and we must recognize providing exceptional customer service as both a priority and a personal responsibility.

    A team of staff from across the organization have developed a Corporate Customer Service Strategy (CCSS) – our roadmap to understanding and meeting customers’ needs, and to building a performance excellence culture within our organization. It focuses on providing easy, convenient service to citizens whether they choose to interact with us online, in person, by phone, or by correspondence.

    To help bring the CCSS to life, we have developed Customer Service Guidelines, which highlight some of the tools available when interacting with our diverse customer base.

    These documents underscore the importance of providing our customers with the service they need, when they need it. We must ensure that our customers are informed about the programs and services we offer, and we must measure the quality of their customer experience, so we can take appropriate steps to improve it as necessary.

    In today’s environment, citizens and stakeholders expect quick, accurate and consistent answers from government agencies. No matter who your customer is, or what service you are providing, I encourage you to consider how you will use these resources to deliver high-value results for citizens and colleagues.

  • Celebrate Mi’kmaq History Month

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    Today, Mayor Savage raised the Mi’kmaq Grand Council flag on behalf of the municipality to mark Treaty Day and the beginning of Mi’kmaq History Month. Treaty Day commemorations reaffirm the historic presence of the Mi’kmaw who have occupied the land for thousands of years.

    Each year, our rich Mi’kmaq history and culture is celebrated through story, song, dance and more, all highlighting the foundational contributions of the Mi’kmaq people to Nova Scotia. It is also a time to reflect on our relationship with Mi’kmaq communities and come together in shared dialogue, reconciliation and celebration.

    In October 2015, Halifax Regional Council passed a Statement of Reconciliation to support the municipality’s work with Mi’kmaq and Urban Indigenous communities. Since then, the municipality has established Urban Indigenous Services, part of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, which serves as a collaborative partner for business units on municipal programs, policies and service delivery for Urban Indigenous Peoples.

    As well, the municipality will soon officially launch our new passenger ferry named in honour of Rita Joe, a Mi’kmaq poet and songwriter from Whycocomagh on Cape Breton Island. She is often referred to as the “poet laureate” of the Mi’kmaq people.

    Many more community activities and events will be hosted throughout October, including the official unveiling of the Downie Wenjack Fund Legacy Space in City Hall.

    Legacy Spaces are designated spaces dedicated to providing accurate information regarding Indigenous history and our journey of reconciliation. Ours will serve as a symbol and reminder for employees and visitors of the important work each of us needs to do for the promises of our country to be fulfilled.

    The establishment of this space and related initiatives help renew the municipality’s commitment to reconciliation and being an equitable workplace for Indigenous peoples.

    Please join me in celebrating Mi’kmaq History Month as part of our efforts to strengthen our relationship with the Mi’kmaq people.

    View select videos below created by the Mi'kmaq History Month Committee in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Mi'kmaq History Month.

Page last updated: 23 September 2021, 15:47