Amendments To HRM Charter Add Flexibility

first_imgThe province is introducing legislation to allow Halifax Regional Municipality to create more community benefits for its residents. John MacDonell, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, today, Dec. 5, introduced amendments to the Halifax Municipal Charter to allow HRM to expand the use of bonus zoning as a strategic planning tool. “Nova Scotians want strong, vibrant communities that offer the housing, services and amenities that they need,” said Mr. MacDonell. “These changes support this and ensure that HRM has the appropriate legislative framework and tools in place to better serve its citizens.” Bonus zoning, which aligns with Halifax By Design, had been limited to the downtown Halifax core. The tool secures community benefits in exchange for negotiating concessions with developers, most often the height of a building. Affordable housing must be part of bonus zoning, which can also be used to improve streetscapes, open spaces and parks. HRM requested the change to its Charter and will consult the public before using the planning tool. Halifax Regional Municipality was granted its own charter in 2009 to better respond to its unique needs as the largest municipality in Nova Scotia.last_img read more

Smart Start gives new Brock students a head start

Smart Start leaders (from left) Steph Teichgraf, Paul Taylor, Dylan Magee and Aidan Smyth will spend their summer helping new Brock students get ready for the school year ahead.Living in Niagara before attending Brock University, Steph Teichgraf may have had an advantage over other students heading to Niagara for school.She knew where the campus was and benefitted from the bonus of attending school in her home community. Still, Teichgraf had plenty of questions about balancing the academic demands with student life as she embarked on her university career.She found answers through Smart Start, a one-day orientation session to help students and their families feel reassured about the four years ahead.“Although I lived in the Niagara community, Smart Start was my first time coming on campus for academics,” Teichgraf said. “The program helped me to see all the ways I could get involved while balancing my academics with all the services that are available to support students.”Now Teichgraf, who’s going into her fourth year of the Concurrent Education Program, will be showing new students the way as a Smart Start leader this summer.She’ll give campus and residence tours, leading students and parents to services offered by the University and helping with course registration.Ultimately, Teichgraf and her fellow Smart Start leaders are helping new students scratch important items of their September to-do lists early, making their first weeks of school a little less stressful.“I left my Smart Start day feeling very excited,” said Aidan Smyth, a Smart Start leader going into his fifth year of Concurrent Education. “Getting a feel for the campus, meeting some of the faculty and staff, and knowing that I was properly registered for all of my courses made it easier to hit the ground running in September.”The cost to participate is $45 per student and $15 per guest. This fee covers program materials, refreshments, lunch and parking.It’s anticipated that more than 2,000 students will participate in the program this summer, bringing with them 2,200 guests.Those numbers will help Smart Start reach a milestone of having shown 26,000 students and 28,000 parents and guests the proverbial ropes of university life.Each year, the program is tailored to ensure it covers all the topics important to new students.“Much like student life itself, the Smart Start program changes from year to year to ensure the information and services we provide are always relevant and essential,” said leader Dylan Magee, a fifth-year visual arts student. “Not only is it a day for incoming first years, it is also an experience for parents and guests to ease the transition from home.”Leader Paul Taylor, a fourth-year concurrent education student, recommends incoming students take a Smart Start tour, even if they have friends and family already attending Brock.“Even if you already have a sibling who attends Brock, Smart Start is an easy way to get a head start for September,” he said. “Bring your sibling along, they may learn something new about their school as well.”Smart Start runs from June 24 to Aug. 9, with Saturday tours available in July.Visit Smart Start online to register or for more information. read more

Death toll from Michael seen rising as Florida towns remain cut

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMichael weakens to tropical storm after day of havoc in FloridaOctober 11, 2018In “World”Hurricane Michael: Category four storm lashes Florida coastOctober 10, 2018In “World”Hurricane Matthew kills 39 as Haiti death toll risesOctober 6, 2016In “latest news” Homes destroyed after Hurricane Michael smashed into Florida’s northwest coast in Mexico Beach, October 11, 2018. Chris O’Meara/Pool via REUTERSMEXICO BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) – The death toll was expected to rise this weekend in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael as hundreds remained unaccounted for along the Florida Panhandle where decimated communities remained cutoff and in the dark.As of early on Saturday, state officials were reporting that at least 18 have been killed in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.Rescue teams, hampered by power and telephone outages, were going door-to-door and using cadaver dogs, drones and heavy equipment to hunt for people in the rubble in Mexico Beach and other Florida coastal communities, such as Port St. Joe and Panama City.“We still haven’t gotten into some of the hardest-hit areas,” said Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Friday, noting that he expects to see the number of people killed climb.The Houston-based volunteer search-and-rescue network CrowdSource Rescue said its teams were trying to find about 2,100 people either reported missing or stranded and in need of help in Florida, co-founder Matthew Marchetti said.Social media websites were crowded with messages from those trying to reach missing families in Florida’s Bay and Gulf Counties.Marchetti said his volunteer search teams, consisting mostly of off-duty police officers and firefighters, had rescued or accounted for 345 others previously reported to CrowdSource Rescue.Michael crashed ashore near Mexico Beach on Wednesday afternoon as one of the most powerful storms in U.S. history, with winds of up to 155 mph (250 kph). It pushed a wall of seawater inland, causing widespread flooding.The tropical storm, which grew in less than two days into a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, tore apart entire neighborhoods in the Panhandle, reducing homes to naked concrete foundations or piles of wood and siding.DOGS AND BULLDOZERSFEMA crews have been using bulldozers and other heavy equipment to push a path through debris so rescuers can sift the rubble using specially trained search dogs.More than 1,700 search and rescue workers have been deployed, Governor Rick Scott’s office said in a statement, including seven swift-water rescue teams and nearly 300 ambulances.Except for the emergency 911 system, authorities in Bay County, the epicenter of the disaster, were virtually without telephone or internet service until late on Friday, making communications internally and with the public difficult.Ruth Corley, a spokeswoman for the Bay County Sheriff’s Department, said local television stations were knocked off the air for two days, and authorities were relying on the Gulf State College radio station to transmit public service bulletins.By Friday morning the storm remnants were about 275 miles (445 km) southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph).More than 940,000 homes and businesses on the U.S. East Coast were without power and it could be weeks before power is restored to the most damaged parts of Florida. read more