Coming to Halifax council: Flyer delivery, professional soccer team, Sportsplex naming rights

Halifax Regional Council is set to meet on April 24, 2018. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

Halifax Regional Council will meet Tuesday with a slate of topics ready for debates and decisions.

Here are some of the highlights from the agenda.

READ MORE: City reveals plans for 16-month Dartmouth Sportsplex make over

Dartmouth Sportsplex naming rights

One of the first things on the agenda will be a decision to award the naming rights for the Dartmouth Sportsplex.

The process is all but complete and councillors are essentially crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on the contract that will see a company have its name displayed on the facility.

According to a staff report, councillors have already been given a private in-camera report that detailed a “recommended naming partner.” All that’s left is for the council to direct the municipality’s Chief Administrative Officer and staff to finalize the deal.

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However, it doesn’t appear that we’ll be learning the name of that company until some point in the future — likely an unveiling ceremony — as the staff report recommends that council direct staff not to release details on the naming rights until the contract is executed.

READ MORE: Halifax council signs off on new soccer stadium and professional team for downtown

Wanderers grounds

Halifax may be getting a stadium and a new professional sports team — but it won’t be for football.

Regional council is set to debate allowing the municipality to create two separate rental agreements with Sports Entertainment Atlantic (SEA) for the use of the Wanderers Grounds — a  four-hectare natural turf sports field on the Halifax Commons.

Sports and Entertainment Atlantic has proposed a pop-up stadium in Halifax at the Wanderers Grounds. Sports & Entertainment Atlantic

SEA has proposed a pop-up stadium on the grounds as part of a plan to bid for a team in the planned Canadian Premier League.

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Council is being asked to consider a one-year lease agreement for the 2018 season, which will function as a trial run for the project. The municipality is also being asked to examine a separate three-year lease that will have SEA use the stadium to host Canadian Premier League soccer games in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

If passed, SEA will hold eight events during 2018:

  • One Senior Men’s rugby game between Canada and the United States on June 23.
  • Three soccer games in July between Nova Scotia’s under-23 team and England’s under-20 team. The games are scheduled for July 14, 18 and 21 but are conditional on the status of the field after the rugby game in June.
  • One rugby game between Canada and England’s under-20 teams in August.
  • One rugby game and one soccer game in September.
  • One high school football game, the High School Turkey Bowl in October.

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Flyer delivery in the HRM

Matt Whitman’s campaign for an opt-in, only flyer system looks likely to fail if council follows recommendations by city staff heading to council on Tuesday.

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It’s the latest in a series of reports produced by staff in response to the issue of flyers being delivered to homes in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).

Staff and councillors have previously received complaints that newspapers and flyers are a nuisance and a waste of resources.

However, legal staff have determined that an outright ban on flyer delivery is not possible as it would be “deemed an infringement on the distributors’ freedom of expression.”

The current staff report recommends that council direct staff to draft a by-law to regulate flyer delivery, including a code of delivery standards. Most importantly, it appears that staff have explicitly mentioned that a mandatory opt-in on fly deliver not be part of the by-law.

Council can also direct staff to work with flyer distributors and publishers to create a pilot project of flyer delivery boxes, which will replace end-of-driveway delivery in rural areas of the municipality.

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