E-News Bulletin--March-April 2013

President's Message

russell-walker

Councillor Russell Walker

 

The 2013 federal budget released on March 21 provided great news for municipalities across the country, particularly the new infrastructure program announcement. Moreover, the indexing of the federal gas tax will generate an additional $9 billion in new funding nationally over the next 20 years. The requests of many municipalities to expand the eligibility criteria was heard, and virtually all municipal assets will be included in the new gas tax agreement. The Building Canada Fund is being renewed for 10 years, and a review will be done in 5 years to assess the success of the fund in meeting infrastructure needs. These gains came, in large part, as a result of the work of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. I would like to thank the FCM for their efforts. Your Nova Scotia FCM board members−Warden Lloyd Hines (District of Guysborough), Mayor Don Downe (District of Lunenburg), and Councillor Bill Karsten (HRM)− worked hard on your behalf, and will continue to ensure Nova Scotia municipal needs are addressed under the new programs. I would also like to thank the UNSM membership as well. UNSM had suggested municipalities take up the infrastructure banner, and many Councils answered the call by passing resolutions in support of FCM's requests, and talking to their MPs and stakeholders. Together we have accomplished a great deal. The UNSM will continue to work with FCM in assisting with program design as the infrastructure program is fleshed out.

The Canada-Wide Wastewater Strategy--The New Wastewater Regulations

by Kevin Latimer, Q.C. and Mark Mills, Articled Clerk, Cox & Palmer

In an earlier article, published May 7, 2010, we gave a status report on the Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent. We commented on the draft Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations, which were developed to implement the Wastewater Strategy, and which proposed new and extensive requirements for the monitoring of water quality, invertebrate organisms, and fish in receiving waters.

Municipalities and Wireless Industry Announce Joint Protocol on Antenna Siting

FCM President Karen Leibovici and Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) President Bernard Lord announced on February 28 a joint protocol on the siting process of wireless antenna systems.

Disaster Planning--Canadian Red Cross

Disasters are not something you plan for, but they are happening with increasing frequency and severity in our province.  In the last decade, significant disasters such as hurricanes, floods and forest fires have forced people from their homes and communities, destroying houses, damaging property and turning lives upside down. In Nova Scotia, the Canadian Red Cross cares for hundreds of individuals and families following disasters like house and apartment fires each year. But, depending on the scope of disasters that occur, the Red Cross must be prepared to support thousands of people at a time. Whether a disaster is confined to a single family home or apartment or affects an entire community, the result is the same. People are displaced, their precious possessions are lost and they are left vulnerable. 

This is why the Canadian Red Cross has embarked on an ambitious campaign to raise $3,000,000 to establish a Center of Excellence in Disaster Management. This Center will serve to train volunteers from across the province in the skills they need to manage all types of disaster responses. On March 13th, the province of Nova Scotia announced its support of this initiative with an $800,000 contribution and more than a dozen corporations and individuals have also pledge their support, bringing the campaign to 75% of its goal. Now the Red Cross needs the support of municipalities from across the province to help too.

We all know that the Red Cross volunteers are there for our municipalities whenever disaster strikes. Our support to this campaign will provide our communities with more Red Cross volunteers and more training for all Red Cross volunteers so that when a disaster strikes, and it will, we are better prepared to help our citizens prepare, respond and recover.

Nova Scotia to Recognize Retired Long-Serving Police Officer

The Province will recognize retired police officers for years of dedicated service to Nova Scotians with changes to the Nova Scotia Police Long Service Award.

Municipal Conflict of Interest: MADGER v. FORD: SUMMARY OF APPEAL DECISION

By Kevin Latimer, Q.C. and Mark Mills, Articled Clerk, Cox & Palmer

In an earlier article, published in the November–December, 2012 UNSM E-news Bulletin, we reviewed the decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Magder v. Ford, 2012 ONSC 5616, dealing with an application for an order declaring the Toronto City Council position of Mayor Rob Ford vacant for breaches of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA). The court granted the application, however the decision was appealed. The appeal decision, released on January 25, 2013, overturned the initial ruling, allowing Ford to maintain his seat on council. The reasons for the decision are summarized below:

Plan Will Protect Important Lands, Enhance Parks

People in the province are invited to help define the final plan to manage and protect Nova Scotia's natural spaces.

The Province released the draft parks and protected areas plan on February 28.

The plan also meets the goal of reviewing the province's parks system, which is included in The Path We Share, Nova Scotia's natural resources strategy.

The province would protect more than 13 per cent of its lands, surpassing its legislated goal to protect at least 12 per cent of Nova Scotia. Currently, about 9.3 per cent is protected.

In the past several years, many people and groups, including Mi'kmaq, have been consulted at each stage of the 12 per cent plan and during research for the parks system.

Nova Scotians have until May 1 to review and comment on the document. Feedback will help shape the final plan.

For more information, click here.

14 Nova Scotia Communities Approved for Community Feed-in Tariff Program

Fourteen communities from across Nova Scotia were approved by the Province for Community Feed-In Tariff (COMFIT) projects.

WindFacts.ca Opens New Channel on Clean Energy Dialogue with Canadians

Canadians have a new way to join the dialogue on wind energy with the official launch of a website that combines cutting-edge social media tools with facts, figures, did-you-knows, and links to important resources. The initiative is supported by wind energy leaders whose goal is to ensure Canadians have access to facts when making choices about their energy future, and the site is administered by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA).

The WindFacts website contains facts and resources that address a number of areas of key interest to Canadians: how wind works, health, community, affordability and environment and wildlife. By logging in through top social media programs such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, visitors can also submit questions about wind energy which will be answered by the WindFacts Team.

Visit www.windfacts.ca to get the facts on wind energy and join the conversation.

Nova Scotia 2012 Tourism Results

More visitors came to Nova Scotia in 2012. The province welcomed 1,993,300 visitors, a two per cent increase from 2011.

In 2012, 88 per cent of visitors came from other parts of Canada, with eight per cent from the United States and three per cent from overseas. About 68 per cent travelled by road and 32 per cent arrived by air.

Province Introducing New Occupational, Health and Safety Regulations

The Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education is introducing new Occupational, Health and Safety (OHS) regulations. The Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (WHS) will come into effect June 12, 2013.

The WHS regulations contain the new and amended requirements for fall protection, rope access work, scaffolding, occupational health, and temporary workplaces on highways.

They will replace the current:

  • Fall Protection and Scaffolding Regulations
  • Occupational Health Regulations
  • Temporary Workplace Traffic Control Regulations.

Eventually ALL OHS regulations, except the Underground Mining Regulations, will become part of the WHS regulations.

For continued up to date information on OHS in Nova Scotia, as well as changes that may effect your workplace, visit us at www.safetypath.ca, where our professionals will be glad to help keep you informed.

Nova Scotia Seeks Nominations for Lieutenant Governor's Community Spirit Award

Does your community have spirit? The province is encouraging communities to show it by submitting nominations for the Lieutenant Governor's Community Spirit Award.

Green Toolbox for Growing Sustainable Municipalities--April-March 2013

From UNSM’s Municipal Sustainability Office March-April 2013

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--March-April 2013

UPCOMING UNSM MUNICIPAL SUSTAINABILITY OFFICE WORKSHOPS

WORKSHOPS ON UNSM’S NEW ICSP IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE
HRM WORKSHOP:  THURSDAY, APRIL 25 FROM 10 AM TO 3:30 PM
ANTIGONISH WORKSHOP:  FRIDAY, APRIL 26 FROM 9:30 AM TO 2:30 PM

Every municipality in Nova Scotia has prepared an integrate community sustainability plan (ICSP) which presents a long-term vision for their future. Now each are faced with the daunting task of translating these long-term goals and ideas into meaningful action on the ground. UNSM’s Municipal Sustainability Office has developed a new guidebook - From Great Ideas to Great Communities - to help municipalities with this task and is pleased to offer two full-day training workshops for municipal staff and elected officials. The guidebook launches on Earth Day (April 22) and workshops will be offered on April 25 in Halifax and April 26 in Antigonish.

Green Toolbox--Funding Opportunities and Announcements--March-April 2013

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS

NOVA SCOTIA TRANSIT RESEARCH INCENTIVE PROGRAM NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
APPLICATION DEADLINE:  MAY 15

The 2013-14 funding applications are now available through the Nova Scotia Transit Research Incentive Program (NS-TRIP).   The NS-TRIP provides funding to support capacity building initiatives intended to generate new and improved public transit services in rural and unserviced urban areas of Nova Scotia.   Applicants can receive funding for one project per year under the program. Funding will be used to support a broad range of activities, all of which must be directly related to enhancing the service capacity of new or existing public transit organizations in Nova Scotia.

The application is now available online; click here. 

 

THE NOVA SCOTIA CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION FUND NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
APPLICATION DEADLINE:  MAY 17