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Council to discuss complaints against councillors behind closed doors this week

The complaints against councillors under Administrative Order 52 will be heard in-camera
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Halifax City Hall (Meghan Groff/

HALIFAX - Though the public will not hear any of them, Regional Council will deal with public complaints against councillors at its next meeting.

The in-camera or confidential portion of the council agenda on Tuesday lists complaints against councillors under Administrative Order 52, which serves as council’s code of conduct, on the docket for discussion. Reporters or the public won’t hear the discussion.

Numerous complaints were recently filed against councillors after a spat on social media between Hammonds Plains Councillor Matt Whitman and Downtown Councillor Waye Mason.

Mason bluntly criticized Whitman for re-tweeting a so-called ‘ethno-nationalist’ group who was upset with a council decision to remove the statue of Halifax founder Edward Cornwallis, resulting in a slew of complaints.

The number of complaints, their content and who they are against aren’t made public, but Metro News reported earlier this month the number was at 38 filed so far this year, compared to just 28 in all of 2017.

Whitman has recently lobbied to have the complaints process made public and conceded that many of them are likely about him.

Request for a review of police service areas

Cole Harbour Councillor Lorelei Nicoll will put forward a motion at Tuesday’s meeting to request a study of how efficient the municipality’s two police forces work in terms of their service areas.

Nicoll’s motion asks for the CAO to engage an expert to perform an “HRM wide service review” that includes examining which parts of the municipality are covered by Regional Police and which portions by the provincial RCMP.

If passed without changes, the motion states a report and recommendation would come to council before consultations with the Board of Police Commissioners and provincial Department of Justice.

Dartmouth 4-pad naming rights

Council will debate a staff recommendation Tuesday to continue to work to find a suitor for the naming rights of the Dartmouth 4 Pad arena.

If approved by council, the naming rights would be awarded to the highest scored bid before a contract is negotiated with the winner by Nustadia Recreation Inc., who have a 20-year deal with HRM to manage and operate the rink.

Parade float

Halifax Regional Council will debate a motion Tuesday that if approved, would see a call for proposals issued to replace the municipality’s parade float.

The municipality operates the float in 18 events per year ranging from large parades like the Parade of Lights and Halifax Pride, to smaller and more regional or rural parades.

If passed without changes, staff would put out requests for proposals with funds approved in the 2018-19 budget, while referring a funding request of up to $40,000 for the continued storage, maintenance and operation of the old float to the Budget Committee of the Whole.

The older float, which is 25-feet long, 10-feet wide and 14-feet tall, would serve as a secondary float when necessary once a new one is acquired.

HRM has had five such official parade floats since amalgamation.

Crosswalk near Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital

Preston-Chezzetcook-Eastern Shore Councillor David Hendsbee on Tuesday will put forward a request for a staff report to study the reinstatement of a crosswalk by the Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital in Sheet Harbour.

In his motion, Hendsbee writes there are businesses and residents on the opposite side of the hospital and the nearby Harbourview Lodge Continuing Centre that its patients frequently visit.

He writes many residents have mobility issues so a crosswalk would mean a safer crossing and improved accessibility.

If approved, staff would also consider an alternative location for the crossing at the intersection of Martin Lane and Highway 7.

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