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.

  • New Recreation Software Supports Innovative Services

    18 Feb 2020
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    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.

    The municipality’s new recreation software has been making it easier for our residents to access programs and services offered at over 50 community and recreation centres and multi-district facilities across the region.

    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.


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  • Celebrate African Heritage Month 2020

    24 Feb 2020
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    In February, we come together in celebration of African Heritage Month 2020 and the provincial theme: The Ties that Bind: Faith, Family & Community. The theme recognizes the lineage of the African Nova Scotian community and the enduring ties African Nova Scotians and People of African Descent share through faith, family and community.

    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.


    (L to R): Andrew Crowe (Program Coordinator), Sabina Kasheke, Natasha Nordin, Brandi Brown, Lillian Ash, Theresa Edem, Diane Wedderburn, Ian David, Clinton Thomas, Conrad Allison, Danielle Paris, Cameron Brown, Natasha Prest,

    Brandon Grant, Desmond Lambert, Ali Duale, Johnathon Jones, Ayo Aladejebi, Jacques Dubé, Eric Newbould (Program Coordinator); Missing: Eddy Parsons

    Click here to view photo.

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  • Kudos for our Winter Works Employees

    18 Feb 2020
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    During the winter season, municipal crews work diligently throughout the day and night in support of snow and ice removal and clean-up activities.

    In advance of and during weather events, winter works staff closely monitor precipitation and take precautionary measures to mitigate the impact of snow and ice accumulation. With the support of Corporate Communications, residents are informed of ongoing clearing efforts and service levels; particularly with respect to service disruptions and cancellations, parking ban updates and street and sidewalk clearing efforts.

    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.


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  • Make Yourself Count - Diversity Census

    18 Feb 2020
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    Make Yourself Count

    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:

    • Develop and tailor programs, policies and practices to better support our workforce;
    • Identify and remove any barriers that may exist in hiring, training, promoting and retaining our employees; and
    • Inform our upcoming Employment Equity Program.

    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:

    Huwaida Medani
    Advisor, Diversity & Inclusion
    902.490.6049
    MakeYourselfCount@halifax.ca

    Cathy Collett
    Research & Development Specialist
    902.579.0414
    MakeYourselfCount@halifax.ca


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  • 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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