Russell Walker to retire from Halifax municipal council after 27 years

Coun. Russell Walker has announced he will not run in the upcoming municipal election. Global News

Longtime Halifax Coun. Russell Walker has announced he will not seek re-election in this October’s municipal election.

Walker has served as a municipal councillor for 27 years, or eight terms.

“The support from residents has impacted this journey in a positive way, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone in the district,” Walker said in a press release.

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Over his stint in municipal politics, Walker has served on a number of boards, including the Halifax Water Commission and the audit and finance committee.

He said that he particularly enjoyed his 18 years with the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities, serving as the organization’s president for two terms.

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First elected in 1994, Walker helped relocate the Halifax West High School on the Mainland Commons, was instrumental in the construction of the Canada Games Centre and helped to pass the Dutch Village Road plan, which made the area more walkable and livable.

Walker said he would not have been able to serve in the position without the support of his family and his wife Cheryl, who died last year after a very brief illness with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Click to play video: 'Discover Halifax Launches New Campaign'
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“Being accessible to residents was important to me as a councillor, and Cheryl was often the first point of contact for residents when they would call our home to talk about various issues,” he said.

The councillor will leave the seat he held for so long, Halifax-Bedford Basin West, open for a new councillor in the impending Oct. 17 election.

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He joins a growing number of his colleagues who say they will not reoffer.

Coun. Lorelei Nicoll announced earlier this month that she would not be running for council again after 12 years on the governing body.

Read more: Halifax Coun. Bill Karsten will not run for re-election in upcoming municipal vote

Coun. Bill Karsten of Dartmouth South-Eastern Passage announced in May he’d be stepping aside after four terms in council.

Coun. Stephen Adams of Spryfield-Sambro Loop-Prospect Road announced last year that he would not run for re-election.

Adams had served as a municipal councillor since 1991.

Coun. Matt Whitman of Hammonds Plains-St. Margarets will also not be running for his seat again.

Read more: Matt Whitman announces he’s running for mayor

Instead, he will attempt to challenge incumbent Mayor Mike Savage, who has confirmed he will be running for a third four-year term.

That means at least five of the 16 seats on Halifax regional council will have a new councillor after the October election.


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