E-News Bulletin--February 2014

President's Message

Dave Corkum--face on resized

Mayor Dave Corkum

It has been a very busy few months so I would like to outline a number of activities and initiatives we are working on.

I am pleased to report that on February 14, the Board adopted by motion the package of Towns Task Force Recommendations as prepared by the sub-committees of Land Use Planning, Economic Development, and Regional Service Delivery. These three reports outline a number of legislative changes to the MGA along with a number of financial incentives for the Province to consider. Copies of the reports have been sent to the SNSMR Minister and posted to the UNSM website. We will be asking the Minister to advance the legislative changes as soon as possible and to accept in principle the financial recommendations. The UNSM will be requesting that the Fiscal Review Committee assess and prioritize the financial recommendations contained in the reports. Clink on the links for a copy of the three reports:  Economic Development Sub-Committee Summary Report; Land Use Planning Sub-Committee Summary Report; Regional Service Delivery Sub-Committee Summary Report.

On February 15, the Ivany Report was released titled Now or Never: An urgent Call to Action for Nova Scotians. In a nutshell the report indicated that Nova Scotia is at a crossroads; significant changes need to occur if our communities are to survive and thrive. Recommendations range from population growth through immigration, municipal reform, building a culture of entrepreneurship, and better utilization of our natural resources. Municipalities will need to step up to the plate to do their part in this call to action. To this end, the UNSM will initiate a dialogue with the membership to look at the role municipalities can play in addressing the report's recommendations.

The Federal Government recently announced the Building Canada Plan worth $53 billion over ten years. Nova Scotia's share will be $1.006 billion−$580 million for gas tax and $426 million for Building Canada fund over 10 years. Under the Building Canada Fund, the Federal Government will contribute 1/3 of the cost towards municipal infrastructure. The use of gas tax funds cannot be applied to the Building Canada Fund with the exception of public transit where the federal government will provide up to 50% funding.

Municipal Conflicts of Interest in Nova Scotia

prepared by Cox & Palmer

The rules regulating conflicts of interest for municipal councillors are set out in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (the “MCIA”). The framework of the MCIA is clear: if a councillor has a “pecuniary interest” in a matter being considered by council, they are in a conflict of interest, and must disclose their interest and refrain from participating in the discussion and decision-making process. The consequences of a judicial finding that a councillor has breached the MCIA are severe; unless the judge determines that the breach was inadvertent or a bona fide error of judgement, the judge is required to declare the seat of the councillor vacant. As such, it is essential that municipal councillors be familiar with the MCIA and understand best practices to ensure compliance.


What is a “pecuniary interest”?

Although the MCIA does not define “pecuniary interest”, case law has determined that the term connotes something to do with money or finances, i.e., where a councillor stands to be impacted financially. The MCIA lays out three types of pecuniary interests: (1) direct; (2) indirect; and (3) deemed. A direct pecuniary interest arises when a matter before council has a direct financial impact on the councillor as an individual. For example, in Mino v. D’Arcey, a councillor was found to have breached the Ontario equivalent to the MCIA because he did not recuse himself from a council discussion regarding an RFP for the construction of new municipal offices, despite being listed as a sub-contractor on five of the tenders that had been submitted in response to the RFP.  

A councillor has an indirect pecuniary interest where, for example, he or she: (1) is a shareholder in, or a director or senior officer of, a corporation that does not offer shares to the public; (2) has a substantial interest in, or is a director or senior officer of, a corporation that offers shares to the public; or, (3) is a member of a body, whether incorporated or not, that has in interest in a matter in which the council or local board is concerned. Thus, the focus here is whether the councillor has an interest in a corporation or unincorporated body which has an interest in a matter before council.

Finally, a councillor has a deemed pecuniary interest where a matter before council impacts the financial interests of the councillor’s spouse or other family members.

Province Releases 2014-15 Highway Improvement Plan

On January 22, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Geoff MacLellan announced the 2014-15 edition of the province's 5-Year Highway Improvement Plan.

In addition to the work outlined in the plan, the province will continue discussions with the federal government to extend twinning on Highway 103 and to complete Highway 101.

Other priorities include:

  • improving access between Bedford and Burnside Industrial Park with the construction of the Burnside Connector
  • twinning highway 104 in Antigonish to make the Trans-Canada Highway safer, less congested and quicker
  • improving the Cabot Trail and Trunk 4 in Cape Breton
  • building a new highway 103 near Port Mouton, Queens Co.
  • building an interchange at Exit 5 and 6 on Highway 103 at Ingramport, Halifax Regional Municipality.

Town of Berwick Receives Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) is pleased to announce that Town of Berwick has received the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its budget.

The award represents a significant achievement by the entity. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the entity had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity's budget serves as:

•    a policy document
•    a financial plan
•    an operations guide
•    a communications device.

Canada Post Releases Guiding Principles on Converting from Home to Community Mailbox Delivery

Canada Post released on January 29 guiding principles that will govern its approach to converting the remaining five million addresses with delivery at their door to community mailbox delivery over the next five years.


Canada Post is committed to ensuring that the transition of delivery service in Canadian communities will be handled responsibly and with respect towards customers and municipalities. The principles are:

  • Canada Post recognizes that dense urban cores in our larger cities, with their older neighbourhoods and smaller lots, present different challenges for locating community mailboxes than suburban areas. Accordingly, Canada Post will leave the majority of these areas until the final stage of this multi-year project. The postal service will take the necessary time to understand their unique needs and find solutions that work for these neighbourhoods.
  • Canada Post will be sensitive to the needs of seniors and of disabled Canadians. Canada Post is developing alternative approaches for people with significant mobility challenges, who lack viable alternatives and upon whom delivery to a community mailbox would impose an unacceptable hardship.
  • There will be no change in delivery to people living in apartment buildings, seniors' buildings and condominiums who already have mail delivered in the building lobby. In addition, customers who have mail delivered to a rural mailbox (a customer-owned mailbox at the end of a driveway) will not be affected by this change.
  • The postal service will work with community leaders and municipal planning officials to choose safe and appropriate sites.
  • Canada Post will seek the views of affected citizens directly, through multiple channels including direct mail surveys and online feedback tools.
  • The Crown corporation will be as innovative and flexible as possible, while fulfilling its responsibility to protect the financial sustainability of postal service for all Canadians. It will look at various solutions and different equipment, taking the necessary time to address any significant challenges in a given community.
  • Canada Post will respect the needs of businesses to have mail delivered to their door. The vast majority of business addresses will continue to have mail and parcels delivered to their door and will experience no change. The businesses that will continue to have delivery to the door are located in well-established business areas, such as main streets or "business corridors" or receive a relatively large volume of mail or parcels.

Changes to Canada's Antenna Tower Siting Policy

Industry Canada's existing antenna siting procedures apply to all companies that want to install an antenna tower. The procedures outline the process that a company must follow when installing a new radiocommunication antenna tower. This includes sharing towers where possible, consulting with the local land-use authority (generally the municipality) and the public as required, and adhering to any local antenna siting protocol that exists.

The Government of Canada's policy guiding the installation of antenna towers was established in 2008. Under the original policy, a company was only required to consult with local residents when it was planning to build a tower higher than 15 metres. There was no time limit on when the new tower needed to be built following these consultations; and, in many cases, residents felt they weren't being given adequate notice of the details of the consultation or the plan to build a tower.

To help address the concerns of citizens about the number of new towers being built in their communities, in March 2013 the Federal Government announced changes to its telecommunications policy. These changes reinforced the requirement that any company wanting to build a new tower first had to look at sharing an existing tower or using an existing structure for its antenna.

Statement by FCM President on 2014 Federal Budget

The following statement was released by Claude Dauphin, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) regarding the 2014 Federal Budget, which was tabled in the House of Commons.

"Municipalities were looking to the federal budget to see real measures to address the growing housing crisis facing Canada's families, communities, and economy. Unfortunately, Budget 2014 fell short of that goal, failing to include any targets, timelines or a commitment to a long-term housing plan.

A total of $1.5 billion dollars for social housing will be lost over the next 5 years as a result of expiring federal investments. Without a long-term plan and leadership from the federal government, up to a 1/3 of the country's social housing units - home to more than half a million Canadians - will eventually be lost.

Statement by FCM President on the New Building Canada Fund

The following statement was released by Claude Dauphin, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) regarding the New Building Canada Fund announced by Prime Minister Harper on February 13.

"This announcement brings cities and communities closer to accessing new infrastructure funding by April 1. We welcome the federal government's commitment to long-term, predictable and stable infrastructure funding for our cities and communities and FCM is ready to work with the federal government to address important outstanding questions on the New Building Canada Fund.

By indexing the Gas Tax Fund and delivering Canada's longest and largest infrastructure plan, the federal government has recognized the importance of predictable and stable infrastructure funding to cities and communities.  Additionally, the dedicated Small Communities Fund recognizes that small, rural, remote and northern communities need greater predictability and access to infrastructure funding.

Province Unveils Draft Standards of Care for Animal Protection Act - February 27, 2014

Dogs will no longer be allowed to be tethered for more than 12 hours at a time under draft standards of care released Feb. 27, by Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell.

Through regulations, standards of care aim to prevent distress and cruelty and to strengthen the protection of companion animals in Nova Scotia. They also include regulation of companion animal restraints, outdoor care, shelters, companion animal pens and enclosures, abandonment of companion animals as well as the transportation and sale of companion animals.

The Minister and department officials met with various animal protection groups since last fall. These consultations followed online feedback from Nova Scotians last summer. As a result, the draft standards of care were expanded to cover cats.

Part of the proposed changes are to add Animal Protection Act infractions to the list of summary offence tickets. This would allow the SPCA and other enforcement officials, including bylaw officers in municipalities, to issue tickets for certain infractions including tethering a dog for longer than 12 hours a day.

During the next month, the department will seek public input into the draft standards of care. Interested Nova Scotians are asked to fill out a feedback questionnaire on the department's website and either e-mail or mail their response no later than March 31.

Green Toolbox for Growing Sustainable Municipalities--February 2014

From UNSM’s Municipal Sustainability Office February 2014

For more information about the initiatives included in the Green Toolbox, please contact Debbie Nielsen, Municipal Sustainability Coordinator at 423-8312 or e-mail: .mapleleaf

Green Toolbox--Events--February 2014


MANAGING YOUR FLEET FOR FUEL EFFICIENCY WORKSHOP
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, FROM 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
BEST WESTERN PLUS GLENGARRY, 150 WILLOW ST., TRURO

Clean Nova Scotia would like to invite you to a free workshop to learn about options and strategies for managing your fleet vehicles.  In this workshop, you will learn about solutions to optimize your fleets’ fuel efficiency, discuss hot topics and network with fellow fleet managers.  Presentations will be provided on:

  1. GRIP Idle Management System -- Designed for any vehicle that needs to idle in order to maintain climate control, run a mobile office, or power equipment; learn about the equipment, installation process, cost, and benefits of this system to reduce unnecessary idling
  2. Vehicle propane conversion – To learn about the conversion process, cost, vehicle performance, and refueling options for converting your gas- and diesel-powered vehicles to also run on propane (a 2013 Dodge Charger that has been converted will be on hand to view)

If interested in attending this workshop, please RSVP by March 10th.  For more information, contact:  Geoff McCain, Transportation Coordinator, Clean Nova Scotia by email () or telephone (420-7943). 


MANAGING YOUR FLEET FOR FUEL EFFICIENCY WORKSHOP
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, FROM 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
BEST WESTERN PLUS GLENGARRY, 150 WILLOW ST., TRURO

You are invited to attend the Government of Nova Scotia’s 2nd annual forum on water management on March 21st in the Riverview Room of Jenkins Hall at the Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture Campus in Truro.  This one-day session will provide an opportunity for federal, provincial and municipal employees involved with water management to learn about new initiatives, better understand challenges and seek out opportunities for collaboration.  

There is no charge to attend, but registration is required for logistical planning. To register, please contact Tracey Medynski at by March 14th.

3RD ATLANTIC CANADA WATER SYMPOSIUM & FORUM
SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 2014DALHOUSIE FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE CAMPUS, TRURO

This symposium and planning forum aims to bring together leading practitioners, scholars and stewards of watershed management, and water resource planning and protection from across Atlantic Canada.  Participants will learn about new developments in the field and have opportunities to discuss and exchange ideas relating to watershed management in the region.  Click here to learn more about this event..

There is no charge to attend the symposium, but registration is required for logistical planning. To register, please send a message to: .

Globe 2014 PictureGLOBE 2014 – BUSINESS & THE ENVIRONMENT
MARCH 26-28, 2014
VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA

Held every two years since 1990, the GLOBE™ Series of Conferences and Trade Fairs are North America’s largest international gatherings of senior representatives from the public, private and NGO sectors involved in the business of the environment.  Government decision-makers, corporate executives, and environmental technology innovators engage in high-level dialogues about pressing environmental issue, such as corporate sustainability, climate change and carbon management, energy, finance, and building better cities.

Well recognized as the world’s most influential and prestigious international environment industry event series, GLOBE brings people together to discuss current trends and to showcase innovative technology solutions for the world’s environmental problems. Every two years, over 10,000 participants from 80 countries gather in Vancouver, generating over $400 million in new environmental business.

For more information, click here.

RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE 2014
APRIL 15 & 16TH, 2014
WORLD TRADE & CONVENTION CENTRE, HALIFAX

Join in as the 9th annual Renewable Energy Conference as it fosters the role partnering can play to develop better solutions for renewable energy initiatives in Nova Scotia.  The conference promises to deliver audience interaction with industry guests, as participants network with municipalities, institutions, renewable energy producers, developers, utilities, suppliers, investors & lenders, associations and governments!

Click here for more information or to register, or contact Dawn Moxsom at 830-8459.

Nova Scotia Energy RD ConferenceNOVA SCOTIA ENERGY R&D CONFERENCE 2014
MAY 21 – 22
WORLD TRADE & CONVENTION CENTRE, HALIFAX

Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) and the Nova Scotia Department of Energy are pleased to be hosting the 2014 Nova Scotia Energy R&D Conference in Halifax from May 21 – 22. The Nova Scotia Energy R&D Conference represents the largest and most significant event of the year for Canada’s marine renewable energy and oil & gas sectors.

For more information or to register, click here

COASTAL ZONE CANADA 2014, "OUR COASTS: LEGACIES AND FUTURES"
JUNE 15-19, 2014
WORLD TRADE & CONVENTION CENTRE, HALIFAX,

The Coastal Zone Canada (CZC) 2014 Conference is back in Halifax — 20 years after its inaugural meeting in the same venue in 1994. The biennial CZC conferences have brought together experts and interested individuals to share ideas and lessons learned in an attempt to better understand and respond to the challenges facing our coastal resources and communities. While progress has been made there remains much work to do.

The CZC 2014 Conference theme, Our Coasts: Legacies and Futures, offers the opportunity to take a critical look at what has been accomplished in coastal zone management and what lies ahead. At a time when coastal zones in Canada and globally are facing unprecedented use as well as impacts from climate change, the collaborations between communities, government agencies and the private sector are becoming ever more important. The complexity of coastal ecosystems necessitates a complex policy and management structure.

For more information or to register, click here.

NEW REPORT AVAILABLE:  BUILDING RESILIENCE: INTEGRATING CLIMATE AND DISASTER RISK INTO DEVELOPMENT

The World Bank recently released a report which presents its experience in climate and disaster-resilient development.  The report includes case studies on mainstreaming, risk identification, risk reduction, preparedness, financial and social protection, resilient reconstruction and costs.  It also aims to contribute to discussions on loss and damage.

To view a copy of the report, click here.

INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT ENERGY ASSOCIATION RELEASES CANADIAN GUIDEBOOK FOR COMMUNITY ENERGY PANNING

The latest publication from the International District Energy Association (IDEA) aims to support mayors, planners, community leaders, the development community and economic development officials who are interested in planning more resilient urban energy infrastructure, driving the community energy planning process and implementing district energy systems in communities across Canada.  The guidebook is designed to equip key decision-makers with the knowledge and understanding to make confident and informed decisions on energy, environmental and economic matters that are relevant to local energy implementation.

To download a copy of the guidebook, click here.

Green Toolbox--Announcements and Information--February 2014

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION ARTICLE SERIES:  ARTICLE # 2
COURTESY OF UNSM’S ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

WALKING BENEFITS COMMUNITIES AROUND NOVA SCOTIA
By Renee Hartlieb
Active Transportation Committee ArticleWhen Stephanie Johnstone-Laurette was a teenager, she didn’t have the same kind of urge to get her driver’s license as other kids her age. Growing up in Sydney, Cape Breton, her parents encouraged her to walk and bike places, including school. It’s something she’s grateful for today.

“It provided me with a freedom and a sense of independence,” she says. “The fact that I walked, biked, and bussed my way around paved the way for many of my future modes of travel.” In fact, neither Johnstone-Laurette nor her husband Chris had a driver’s license until eight years ago.

Today, they have two kids and a car, but they don’t use it for short trips. “Over time, I’ve covered some pretty good ground on just two feet,” says Johnstone-Laurette, who works at the Ecology Action Centre in Sydney as a Youth Active Transportation Coordinator. “I find it hard to validate taking a car for a trip when I know I can easily get there without any environmental impact.”

Each day begins with a 30-minute walk to her daughter’s school and that’s just a primer! Although Johnstone-Laurette works from home, if the day calls for meetings, she usually walks. This means that she’s matching the average of 10,000 steps per day (roughly 7-8 km) that Heart & Stroke Walkabout™ recommends for health.

Given that heart disease and stroke are among the top causes of premature death among Canadians, Walkabout is committed to creating a walking culture in Nova Scotia. “People who are physically active are generally healthier, live longer, and have a better quality of life,” says Catherine Droesbeck, Community Health Promotion Lead at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “One in three Canadians will die from heart disease or stroke. These odds can be greatly reduced through physical activity.”

Over the last six years, this innovative program has been spreading the good news about walking, by providing tools and resources to help make walking part of the daily routine of more Nova Scotians. One of their main modes of communication is Heart and Stroke Walkabout’s™ website where over 5500 website members have logged nearly two billion steps. Walking groups have sprung up all over the province and members use the website to connect, record their progress, and share walking routes and trails.

The hard-working staff of the Walkabout program also trains individuals to be walking leaders, or champions, in communities and workplaces (600 people trained to date!). “Walking in a group provides motivation for people to get healthy and also offers a social element,” says Droesbeck, who adds that a brisk walk at lunch is a wonderful antidote to the sedentary nature of most office jobs.

“Physical activity has been engineered out of our lives and it takes effort to work it back in, but it is worth it. When co-workers get together to walk, it breaks up the day and usually results in increased productivity.”

Heart and Stroke Walkabout™ also works with employers, municipalities, and the Ecology Action Centre to promote walking as a way of getting to and from work. “Walking provides more than just physical health benefits,” says Droesbeck. “We educate people on what active transportation (AT) is and how they can use it in their lives to enjoy the many benefits of getting around actively.  We also work with groups to create more walkable communities that are healthier, vibrant, and sustainable.”

Having parents who encouraged her to get around using her own steam was definitely inspirational but Johnstone-Laurette also had the benefit of experiencing one of the best examples of AT infrastructure in the world when was just twenty years old. “I went to a university in Sweden where they provided bicycles to students who lived on campus. What an amazing message to send to young people.”

A few years later, while living in southern Ontario, she took advantage of their excellent transit systems, as well as myriad urban biking and walking trails. “These communities invested time and resources to create a network that appealed to people who wanted to decrease their dependence on cars.”

Johnstone-Laurette envisions a day when people all over Nova Scotia are choosing to walk for many of their short trips. “Our whole family enjoys the ‘connecting time’ that walking together brings. We feel closer as a family, but also closer to our community and our surroundings.”


THE DISTRICT OF ST. MARY’S NEW ADMINISTRATION BUILDING IS CERTIFIED TO GREEN GLOBES STANDARDS

District of St. Marys Administration BuildingArticle provided by David C. Stewart & Associates Inc. (); Here is the case study for more information.

GREEN GLOBES PUTS BUILDINGS ON A CARBON DIET

The District of St. Mary’s new administration building in Sherbrooke is the most recent building in Nova Scotia certified to Green Globes standards. When the community of Sherbrooke outgrew their existing administration centre, they decided to pursue Green Globes certification to ensure that their new home would be affordable to operate long-term, as well as be environmentally responsible, healthy and comfortable.

Taking a “whole building” approach, all aspects of the structure were taken into consideration, even down to the selection of cleaning products to be used through the life of the building, and the training and education to the building occupants. Local materials, including the lumber, labour and concrete were utilized to reduce the impact of transportation needed to bring them to the site. The Athena life-cycle impact calculator was used to determine the global warming potential, carbon accounting and embodied energy of the building, generating a cradle-to-grave, life-cycle inventory profile for the whole building.

Rather than having propane or heating fuel delivered to the site at considerable expense, the design team decided to install a ground source heat exchanger, which saves money and reduces the environmental burden. The annual energy costs are estimated to be $ 16.22 per m2 ($1.50 per ft2).

Originally, the Province of Nova Scotia’s Federal Gas Tax program provided funding to municipalities for new construction if the building achieved at least LEED-Silver certification. In June 2012, the Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Secretariat (CNSIS) reformed the existing Gas Tax Program requirements to allow the use of Green Globes as well as LEED in the Community Energy category with respect to building construction and retrofits. If a building choses the Green Globes rating system, it is required to achieve at least three Green Globes certification to qualify for funding under Nova Scotia’s Federal Gas Tax program. The building qualified for full funding of the $1.8 million construction costs under Nova Scotia’s Federal Gas Tax program because it achieved four out of five Green Globes.
 
The Green Globes consulting/facilitation and energy modelling services were provided to the design team of Archibald and Fraser Architects Ltd. (Architect) provided by David C. Stewart & Associates Inc.. AH Roy & Associates Ltd. were the Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, CJ MacLellan & Associates Inc. were the Structural Engineers and ECD Energy and Environment Canada provided the third party review.  The General Contractor was Tate Construction Ltd.

TOWN OF SPRINGHILL TO OPEN NOVA SCOTIA'S FIRST MUNICIPAL GEOTHERMAL PROGRAM

Springhill has final provincial approval to open Nova Scotia's first municipal geothermal program.
Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill signed a special lease to give the project the go-ahead.

"This is about supporting jobs and the community, while helping Springhill businesses and property owners benefit from this efficient, clean energy source," said Mr. Churchill.

Historic underground coalmine workings in Springhill contain about 49 billion litres of water.
The water is heated by geothermal energy from the Earth. The mines' depths make underground water as much as 11 C higher than normal groundwater temperatures. The water can be used to heat buildings and is then returned underground to be reheated by natural processes.

"With this special lease, we can exploit a vast renewable and sustainable green energy source for the Town of Springhill and the Municipality of the County of Cumberland," said Mayor Maxwell Snow. "This program will help to develop Springhill's geothermal resource and possibly lead to creating a utility that will help all of Nova Scotia, the economy and the environment."

The Province is committed to exploring alternative energy sources and reducing its reliance on fossil fuels.

For more information, click here.

OUTDOOR OPPORTUNITIES AWAIT ON TRAIL FOR HALIFAX TO LUNENBURG:  DESTINATION TRAIL TO STRETCH 109 KM

Article courtesy of ACOA.

Nova Scotia is upgrading, unifying and branding seven of its trails as a new outdoor adventure tourism product: a continuous 109km hiking and cycling route from Halifax to Lunenburg. The destination trail will be promoted as a new way for visitors to experience two of the province’s most popular destinations—and all the scenic communities in between.

Representatives from each of the seven trail systems have formed the Halifax to Lunenburg Steering Committee to spearhead the project, which includes the development of a trail brand, wayfinding signs, information kiosks, improved access points, amenity and rest areas and a mobile-compatible website. The committee is collaborating with communities along the trail corridor and using local suppliers for goods and services related to the project.

The Government of Canada is investing $83,000 in the project, through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF), as announced today by Parliamentary Secretary and local MP Gerald Keddy. The Province of Nova Scotia is contributing $65,000 through Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. Additional support for the project includes $20,000 from Halifax Regional Municipality, $5,000 from the Municipality of the District of Chester and $5,000 from the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

Quick Facts

  • According to the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency, the outdoor enthusiast visitor stays longer and spends more than other tourists—$1,960 versus $1,290 on average per person.
  • The seven Nova Scotia trails being combined to create the destination trail are: the Chain of Lakes Trail, the Beechville Lakeside Timberlea (BLT) Trail, the St. Margaret’s Bay Area Rails-to-Trails Trail, the Aspotagan Trail, the Chester Connecter Trail, the Dynamite Trail and the Bay to Bay Trail.
  • The use of local suppliers for the project will inject an estimated $170,000 into local economies.
  • The vision of the Nova Scotia Trails Federation is for all Nova Scotians and visitors to have access to well-managed trails for the pursuit of health, recreation and tourism.


NOVA SCOTIA'S ELECTRICITY FUTURE - A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF ELECTRICITY SYSTEM

In the fall of 2013, the Government of Nova Scotia announced that the first comprehensive review of our province’s electricity system in over a decade would begin in 2014. The review is a legislated commitment under the Electricity Reform Act, which was passed by the Nova Scotia Legislature on December 12, 2013. The Minister of Energy stated that the review would begin with expert reviews and would flow into public consultations on what Nova Scotians want the market to look like in the future.

The Electricity Reform Act has two parts: the first opened up the market for low impact renewable electricity suppliers to compete for the sale of electricity to Nova Scotia Power’s (NSP’s) retail customers. Work on implementing that portion of the act is currently underway.

The second part of the act requires the Minister of Energy to complete public consultation on the future policy plans and regulations for electricity in the province of Nova Scotia.

The Act outlines three specific areas for consultation:
a.    Emerging technologies that may affect the supply and demand for electricity in the Province;
b.    Market trends in the supply and demand for energy that may affect prices for electricity in the Province, including those relating to energy efficiency and conservation; and
c.    Emerging trends in utility governance, organization, performance and accountability.

The review will be conducted in two phases:
Phase 1 - Technical Study & Review:  To gather technical and expert analysis to evaluate global factors and experience that impact Nova Scotia’s electricity system and establish Nova Scotia’s system and economics within a local and regional context.
Phase 2 - Public Consultation and Engagement:  To integrate the various technical studies and expert views. This information will be available for the public and key stakeholders. Public engagement will be led by the Government of Nova Scotia, but also at times will be hosted by stakeholders. The studies commissioned during the first phase of the review will form the basis of broad public consultation and engagement on our electricity system.

The Department of Energy will enable broad participation by Nova Scotians through a variety of engagement tools including surveys, interactive websites and expert forums. Multiple opportunities for engagement are planned over the course of the review and will include targeted stakeholder sessions as well as public meetings. A detailed public engagement plan will be made available as the review progresses.

The Province will release a final report outlining the findings of the electricity review in the spring of 2015. This report will form the basis of Government’s future plans for Nova Scotia’s electricity sector.

For more information on the review, click here.

NEW REGULATIONS ANNOUNCED TO HELP GUIDE NOVA SCOTIA AS TIDAL ENERGY LEADER

New provincial tidal energy regulations will allow early stage projects to connect to Nova Scotia's power grid.  Energy Minister, Andrew Younger, announced the regulations that will help developers invest hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new renewable industry in the province.

"Nova Scotia is becoming a world leader in innovation for in-stream tidal turbines and other emerging technologies, and I am fully committed to advancing this industry here and around the globe," said Mr. Younger. "I made a commitment to the tidal industry that we would get these regulations done by the end of January and I am pleased we now have them approved.

"These regulations will help ensure the industry can invest money and create jobs to install 15 to 20 megawatts of tidal-power capacity in Nova Scotia over the next five or six years, and more in years to come."

The government worked with industry to develop the regulations for large-scale tidal developments connected to the electricity grid with a capacity of at least 500 kilowatts.  The regulations were developed after the province's Utility and Review Board set a feed-in tariff for the tidal projects last fall.

It will likely be early 2015 before a turbine, or a group of turbines, are in the water at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) in the Minas Channel and producing electricity on a trial basis. The timeline estimate will be updated after successful bidders for berths at FORCE are announced in March.

The regulations for the application and approval for a feed-in tariff is available by clicking here.

Obituaries--February 2014

Mr. William Edwin "Bill" Hebb, former Town Clerk-Treasurer for the Towns of Annapolis Royal, Middleton, and Bridgewater

Ms. Donna Ruth Garnett, former Municipal Employee with the Halifax Regional Municipality

Mr. Robert A. "Bob" Stead, former Mayor for the Town of Wolfville, and First recipient of the Ken Simpson Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service and Leadership in Nova Scotia Municipal Government