E-News Bulletin -- May - June, 2013

President's Message


Councillor Russell Walker

From May 31 to June 4, I attended the FCM Annual Conference in Vancouver. Nova Scotia members on the FCM Board for 2013-14 include myself as UNSM President, HRM representative Councillor Bill Karsten, and Mayor Don Downe, District of Lunenburg. Congratulations to Mayor Downe who was also chosen as the Vice Chair of the Atlantic Regional Caucus. A special thanks to Warden Lloyd Hines who stepped down as FCM Board member after serving close to ten years. The Board members work hard on behalf of Nova Scotia municipalities, influencing FCM policy and advocacy efforts.   

There is a current vacancy on the FCM Board for a Nova Scotia member. Municipal elected officials are encouraged to consider putting forward an application to FCM to serve for the coming year. All applications must include Council support for the application, as the municipality pays expenses of the member to attend all four FCM Board meetings and annual conference. FCM will provide information on the application process. Applications must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on June 28.

UNSM Sustainability Guidebook Launched

On April 24, the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities’ Municipal Sustainability Office launched a new guidebook – From Great Ideas to Great Communities – to help municipalities implement their Integrated Community Sustainability Plans (ICSPs). This unique guide is the first of its kind in Canada and will help municipalities to translate their long-term goals and ideas into meaningful action on the ground.

FCM Report Calls for New Strategic Federal-Municipal Partnership

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) kicked off the 76th Annual Conference and Trade Show with the release of its "Report on the State of Cities and Communities". The report, released on May 31st in Vancouver, addresses where Canada stands and the way forward for municipalities.

County of Kings Continues to Work on Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

The County of King's work on race relations and anti-discrimination formally began in 2008 when the Municipality adopted a declaration to join the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism (CCMARD) - part of a larger United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) initiative.  

FCM and Railway Association of Canada Announce Guidelines for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations

The document, Guidelines for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations, was launched as part of the 2013 FCM Annual Conference and builds on guidelines first launched in 2004. Using input from various stakeholders, the updated guidelines address issues concerning noise, vibration and safety and focus on the increasing challenges associated with new residential development. These new guidelines will assist municipal governments and railways in reviewing and determining general planning policies and provisions for conversion of lands in proximity to rail operations, addressing such issues as noise, vibration, emissions, safety and development design. A model Review Process for New Residential Development, Infill, and Conversions in Proximity to Railway is provided in the report. Learn more at Proximity.

211 Service Up and Running

Information to assist Nova Scotians in accessing over 4,000 community and social services across the province is just a phone call or mouse click away.

On February 11, 2013, the 211 service was launched giving Nova Scotians the ability to connect with a wealth of local community groups, non-profit agencies and government departments. The service is completely confidential and available free across the province – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – simply by dialing “2-1-1” or visiting www.ns.211.ca.

RRFB Announces Study on the Economic Impact of Beverage Container Deposit-Refund System

RRFB Nova Scotia is conducting a study on the economic and social benefits of the Beverage Container Deposit-Refund System. They are working with Gardner Pinfold Consulting to compile information from various depots including number of employees, salaries, revenue, work involving charities/community groups, etc. All information will be collected, compiled and held in confidence by the consultant, not RRFB Nova Scotia. The information will be used to evaluate the impact of RRFB Nova Scotia and the ENVIRO-DEPOT™ system. The study should be completed by July. For further information on the project, contact Alanna McPhee, RRFB Manager of Education, at or 902-897-3252.

Green Toolbox for Growing Sustainable Municipalities--May - June 2013

From UNSM’s Municipal Sustainability Office May-June 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--May - June 2013


JUNE 25-27
COST:  $45

Clean Nova Scotia, in partnership with the Ecology Action Center and Nova Scotia Environment, is hosting a stormwater workshop entitled NS SWIMS - Stormwater Innovation: Management and Solutions.  Workshop topics include implementation of best management practices (BMPs) and low impact development (LID) techniques, costs and benefits of BMPs and LID, stormwater regulations in Nova Scotia and other Canadian jurisdictions, and lessons learned from the implementation of practices and regulations.  The keynote for the event is James Houle of the University of New Hampshire’s Stormwater Center.  This workshop will provide you with access to some of the best and brightest practitioners throughout North America in the stormwater field!

Click here for the workshop agenda.
In order to better understand municipal stormwater management issues and to provide a workshop that meets your needs, Clean Nova Scotia has developed a short 10-question, multiple choice and short-answer survey and invites you to take a few minutes to fill it out.   To access the survey, click here.

If you have any questions about the workshop or the survey, please contact Valerie Francella, Water Program Coordinator, Clean Nova Scotia at  420-3473 or .


Green Toolbox--Funding Opportunities and Announcements--May - June 2013



Efficiency Nova Scotia is an independent organization that helps Nova Scotians conserve and use energy better. We offer financial incentives for energy efficient upgrades, rebates on energy efficient products, technical assistance and education, and financing options to make it easy and affordable to improve energy efficiency in your municipality.  Here’s how some municipalities have taken advantage of Efficiency Nova Scotia’s offerings:  

Cape Breton Municipality Police Headquarters

CBRM’s Police Headquarters needed to replace their aging air conditioning unit.  Through Efficiency Nova Scotia, the municipality replaced an existing roof top air conditioning unit with a more efficient one and is now saving 90,000 kWh or $9,000 annually.