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Liberal MP Andy Fillmore ‘very seriously’ considering run for Halifax mayor

Click to play video: 'Liberal MP Andy Fillmore considers run for Halifax mayor'
Liberal MP Andy Fillmore considers run for Halifax mayor
WATCH: Andy Fillmore, the Liberal Member of Parliament for Halifax, says he’s considering a mayoral run during the municipal election in October. He made the comments during a news conference on energy affordability Tuesday. – Feb 20, 2024

Andy Fillmore, the Liberal Member of Parliament for Halifax, says he’s considering a mayoral run during the municipal election in October.

“I am thinking very seriously about putting my name on the ballot,” Fillmore told reporters during a news conference on energy affordability Tuesday.

This comes one week after current Halifax Mayor Mike Savage announced that his name won’t be on the ballot for the next election. Savage has held the position since 2012, and said at the time that “12 years is long enough.”

On Tuesday, Fillmore acknowledged Savage’s work and the “remarkable legacy” he’ll leave behind.

“He’s helped to turn our city toward prosperity. He’s helped us to uncover the potential of our city that we always knew that we have,” he said.

“The city is doing wonderfully right now. It’s not without its challenges. And that’s where the mind goes, with the challenges that are coming to the future.”

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Click to play video: 'Mayor Mike Savage on not seeking reelection'
Mayor Mike Savage on not seeking reelection

Fillmore said he’s had conversations with people from across the municipality, as well as his family. He said he plans to reach a decision in the “coming time.”

“When we run for public office, our family comes along with us,” he said. “After nine years in public life, I’m taking that part of this very seriously.”

Fillmore was first elected as the Liberal MP of Halifax in 2015, and had previously worked as Halifax’s manager of urban design from 2005 to 2012.

He also served as the director of Dalhousie University’s school of planning, as well as the vice-president of planning and development with what was previously known as the Waterfront Development Corporation, which has since been amalgamated into Build Nova Scotia.

The next municipal election is scheduled to take place Oct. 19, at which point council is bound to look very different.

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A number of councillors have already said they will not be running again, including Lisa Blackburn, Shawn Cleary and Tim Outhit.

Councillors Lindell Smith and Waye Mason also won’t be reoffering in the next election, though Mason has previously stated that he would consider running for mayor.

Heat pump program

During the news announcement Tuesday, Fillmore announced the federal government is partnering with the Nova Scotia government and EfficiencyOne to create a “strengthened Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program for eligible Nova Scotians.”

The program allows low-to-medium-income households to apply to receive funding to cover the full average cost of installing a heat pump, which includes up to $15,000 from the Government of Canada’s Oil to Heat Pump Affordability program, and up to $15,000 from Nova Scotia with EfficiencyOne acting as the co-delivery partner.

Click to play video: 'Heat pump program expanding for eligible Nova Scotians'
Heat pump program expanding for eligible Nova Scotians

The $30,000 for qualified Nova Scotia applicants will make a big difference for people struggling with the cost of heating in Nova Scotia, Fillmore said.

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“We are living in a time of a dual crisis. We are facing a very serious affordability crisis, with inflation and high interest rates as a result of global events, a pandemic and a war,” he said.

“At the same time that we’re dealing with the incredible impacts of climate change all across the country, we need to be able to address climate change in a way that is still within reach and affordable to Canadians across the country.”

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