Coming to council: City partnerships, town crier and Beaver Bank Connector changes

Halifax Regional council is set to meet June 5, 2018. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

Halifax Regional Council is set to meet this week after a two-week break full of political delegates visiting from across the country and revelations on racism in the municipality’s transit department.

But it’s time to get back to business, and council has a laundry list of issues it’ll examine this week.

Here is what you can expect at this week’s meeting of Halifax Regional Municipality’s (HRM) council.

READ MORE: Man pleads for changes to Beaver Bank Connector after fatal crash

The municipal council will consider a motion by Steve Craig, councillor for Lower Sackville, that would see staff meet with the province’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal about improving the intersection at the Beaver Bank Connector and Old Sackville Road.

It’s Craig’s hope that a portion of the Beaver Bank Connector currently under the control of the provincial government will be transferred to the HRM.

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The motion comes only weeks after a fatal crash between a dump truck and a car at the intersection prompted calls for changes.

Alex McConnachie, who lives near the intersection, said the Beaver Bank Connector and Old Sackville Road is nicknamed the “death intersection” due to the confluence of a highway coming downhill and several subdivisions, resulting in a high-traffic, high-speed area.

Craig has said that he’s in support of doing something to make the intersection safer.

He says that as a vehicle attempts to turn, it can face crossing up to four lanes of fast-moving traffic — something that needs to be fixed.

“I think a couple of things should be considered by the province and the traffic authority,” Craig said. “One is to put in left turning, or advance-left turning arrows or lights at that intersection.”

READ MORE: Halifax experiences ‘spectacular’ boom in international newcomers

International partnerships

Council is set to examine two separate partnerships with cities in other countries — Gdynia, Poland and Zhuhai, People’s Republic of China.

Gydnia, according to the staff report, is relatively the same size as Halifax and functions as one of the major ports in the Baltic Sea.

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There’s very little trade between the two cities, however, and limited prospects for developing it further in the near future.

As a result,  staff are recommending that Halifax establish a friendship and partnership agreement between the two cities, facilitating “international goodwill.”

The agreement would allow staff to work to “identify and assess further opportunities for joint projects or initiatives.”

Halifax already has friendship agreements with Hakodate, Japan and Campeche, Mexico.

In contrast, the proposed partnership with Zhuhai will go a step further. If passed by council, the motion will see Halifax establishing an economic partnership between the two cities.

The goal would be to promote economic development through building business links and technological advancement.

The staff report coming to council presents a laundry list of reasons that the agreement could be beneficial to Halifax, noting that Zhuhai is an economic powerhouse and “represents a significant opportunity for economic access into the region.”

Halifax already has economic partnership agreements with Norfolk, Virginia and Aberdeen, Scotland.

WATCH: Town crier Will Brewer

Click to play video: 'Town Crier Will Brewer' Town Crier Will Brewer
Town Crier Will Brewer – Dec 4, 2017

HRM town crier

Halifax’s peninsula may have soon have an official town crier. 

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A motion from Waye Mason, deputy mayor and councillor for Halifax Peninsula South, requests council to support selecting William Brewer as the “Halifax Olde Town Crier” to represent Halifax Peninsula North and Halifax Peninsula South, as well as all of the HRM when required.

Brewer has previously been retained by the city for special events.

The Nova Scotia Guild of Town Criers says that Brewer needs to be officially appointed by a city in order to be adopted into the guild.

According to the motion, the HRM already has three town criers — Greg Fenwick who represents Sackville, Bob Raoul who represents Spryfield and Jamie Rouse who represents Eastern Passage.

Council is set to begin after a meeting of the Committee of the Whole wraps on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.

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