Board Members for 2015-2016

UNSM Board of Directors—2015-2016


President:                                       Councillor Claire Detheridge, Cape Breton Regional Municipality
Vice-President:                               Councillor Laurie Murley, Town of Windsor 
Immediate Past-President:             Warden Keith Hunter, County of Cumberland 
Regional Caucus Chair:                   Councillor Bill Karsten, Halifax Regional Municipality 
Rural Caucus Chair:                         Mayor Don Downe, District of Lunenburg 
Town Caucus Chair:                         Mayor Pam Mood, Town of Yarmouth 
Regional Caucus Representative Councillor Clarence Prince, Cape Breton Regional Municipality 
Regional Caucus Representative:     Councillor Jennifer Watts, Halifax Regional Municipality 
Rural Caucus Representative:           Warden Linda Gregory, District of Digby 
Rural Caucus Representative:           Vacant
Town Caucus Representative:           Mayor Paul Beazley, Town of Windsor 
Town Caucus Representative:           Mayor David Walker, Town of Bridgewater 
AMA Representative:                       Mr. Greg Herrett, CAO, Town of Amherst

Welcome to New President: Councillor Claire Detheridge, Cape Breton Regional Municipality

Claire Detheridge is a municipal councillor with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. First elected in 1982, she recently completed her 33rd year in municipal office.

Claire has served on all major committees of CBRM Council, including two terms as Deputy Mayor. She has served as chair of the NS Police Boards, has been on the RRFB Board since 2010.

For a number of years she was a member of the Library Boards Association of NS and has served as Chair of the Cape Breton Regional Library Board.

Claire has served on the UNSM Board of Directors for six years. During this time she has served as Regional Caucus Chair, Regional Caucus Representative, Vice President, and now President. She has also served as the Chair of the Resolutions Committee and Chair of the Fall Conference Planning Committee for 2015.

In her role as Vice President, she served on the Fiscal Review Committee, attended all Round Table discussions with provincial ministers, and has been involved with issues such as the Capped Assessment Program (CAP) and the Property Tax Review Study.

Claire is passionate about the important role municipalities play in making Nova Scotia a healthier, more welcoming place to live, work and play.

Claire believes the oneNS Report will play a large role in helping the province grow.

E-News Bulletin--November-December 2015-In This Issue

In this issue:

  • Welcome New President--Councillor Claire Detheridge
  • New Board Members 2015-2016
  • President's Activities
  • UNSM Board of Director Outcomes from November 3 meeting
  • UNSM Board of Director Outcomes from December 4 meeting
  • Upcoming Workshops/Events/Initiatives
  • Provincial Issues
  • Federal Issues
  • FCM
  • Other Announcements

President's Activities

For a list of the President's activities over the past month, click here.

Other Issues - November-December 2015

Refugee Support

The UNSM is encouraging municipalities and the general public to get involved with refugee settlement in their local communities.

What can Nova Scotians do?

Nova Scotians who want to offer support for refugees who will soon settle in the province can call 211. Offers of clothing, food and lodging will be catalogued by the service. Callers will be asked for details of the support they can provide and to leave contact information for follow-up. People who want to volunteer can also contact 211 and leave their information. Call 211 or email with your details. For more information visit:


The Municipal Role

A number of municipalities across the country are taking action on immigrant settlement including the following:


  • The Halifax Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) will hold regular meetings with Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH's), settlement agencies and service providers to facilitate coordination as well as consistent information exchange and sharing. The municipality will provide information about municipal services to those involved in refugee settlement or directly to refugees. This information can be provided through 311, which is already available in 150 languages.
  • Through Human Resources and the Diversity and Inclusion Office provide sensitivity training for public-facing municipal staff. Such training will be developed to address stigma and stereotypes which constitute significant barriers to greater newcomer participation and to a better integration.
  • To promote a more diverse workforce, the Human Resources (HR) Department can provide or support workshops and/or information sessions to help refugees familiarize themselves with the municipality’s employment culture and get support for resume and cover letter writing. Staff would work in collaboration with ISANS and the Diversity and Inclusion Office on delivery.
  • Halifax Regional Police (HRP), in coordination with their diversity officer and alongside the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, conduct outreach sessions for refugees with the objective of overcoming the fear of police that some refugees may carry based on their personal experience. HRP will also offer and conduct other outreach efforts, such as informational sessions showcasing HRP’s commitment to finding solutions to stigma and difficulties that refugees experience as they settle in their new home. These sessions will be related to HRP’s involvement with the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, which examines the connection between gangs, child soldiers, policing, police training and the displacement of peoples.
  • Halifax Transit to provide temporary transit passes to refugees for first year of settlement.
  • Halifax Recreation to offer relief on recreation fees for first year of settlement for their 28 HRM owned and operated facilities and, where possible, work with Multi-District and Community facilities with whom we have service agreements to do the same.
  • Continue to work in partnership with Halifax Public Libraries as part of their Immigrant/Newcomer Services plan.
  • Work with settlement agencies and others to facilitate access to above noted transit, recreation and library services, potentially through use of an ID card or municipal services card.
  • Halifax LIP to play a coordinating role on the possible implementation of temporary emergency shelters with settlement agencies and service providers (these include, ISANS, Halifax Refugee Clinic, YMCA, YWCA, Shelter Nova Scotia).
  • Include a portal for services to refugees in the Newcomers section of HRM’s website. This portal will highlight existing information in the Newcomers Guide already as it applies to refugee services.
  • Through the Halifax LIP, support continuous coordination of efforts between the municipality and the Provincial Government for matters related to affordable housing, accessible healthcare and inclusive education.
  • Work with provincial government on provincially identified working groups to coordinate activities in various areas including: recreation, community preparedness and others.

Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview:

Local governments in the Greater Moncton Area hosted a joint public information session on refugee sponsorship and resettlement. The municipal role in the settlement of Syrian refugees will include:

  • Providing housing, shelter assistance and leveraging partnerships, grants and land use programs for future housing options
  • Funding and coordinating support for resettlement agencies
  • Identifying Syrian communities within their cities to ensure more successful settlement
  • Disseminating information on available resources including employment, housing, transit and recreation
  • Subsidizing public transit and recreation programs for new refugees
  • Leading public education campaigns to ensure welcoming communities and accurate information on government initiatives


  • On September 8, 2015 Mayor Robertson convened a community forum on the Syrian Refugee Crisis and 400 people attended.
  • On September 16, City Council unanimously passed a motion calling for increased support for refugees.
  • City staff are actively engaged with federal and provincial partners, as well as local service agencies, on planning for the imminent arrival of Syrian refugees to Vancouver. A Syrian Refugees Arrival Strategic Planning Group comprised of government (federal, provincial) and local partners has been struck to prepare for refugee arrival to Vancouver.
  • The City has a well-established Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration, a Local Immigration Partnership Table (Vancouver Immigration Partnership) with 170+ members, a Healthy City Leadership Table comprised of 30 local leaders, and many other networks, many of whom are ready to offer support.
  • The City will play an active role in a regional response with other municipal, senior government and community partners and will be participating in a regional planning session on November 16.


  • Approved $600,000 for settlement and support services as part of a multifaceted strategy.
  • Established an Inter-Divisional Team that will coordinate municipal settlement and support services. The team includes: Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (including Toronto Community Housing); Toronto Employment & Social Services; Toronto Public Health; Children's Services; Strategic Communications; Equity, Diversity & Human Rights and Parks, Forestry & Recreation. It is led by the Toronto Newcomer Office. The team is creating a list of housing availability, a volunteer data base that includes translators and a jobs bank among other initiatives.
  • Established an Inter-Agency Task Force which includes: Canadian Red Cross, Salvation Army, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), UNHCR, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network and Lifeline Syria. The Toronto Newcomer Office serves as the secretariat for the Task Force.
  • There is interest from the corporate sector to fundraise for housing and other costs.


  • Working with the refugee-serving organizations to provide learning opportunities on both the processes of refugees coming to Canada, as well as the integration and settlement needs of refugees.
  • Hosting community meetings to help create broader community awareness and understanding of the current refugee situation and how individuals, organizations, and groups can best help.
  • Expanding the Leisure Access and Discounted Bus Pass Programs to include privately sponsored refugees.
  • Encouraging residents to consider privately sponsoring a refugee/refugee family or donating to support the needs of refugees arriving in Saskatoon


CN's AskRail App

More than 1400 first responders along CN’s rail network use the AskRail app on their mobile devices to lookup real time information about the contents of railcars and trains in their communities. Your municipality's first responders can sign up for the AskRail app, the emergency preparedness tool available in French and English.

Benefits of AskRail include:

  • access real-time data about contents of railcars
  • search to see whether a train is carrying dangerous goods
  • view railroad emergency contact information.

To sign up for AskRail, e-mail CN at .

For further information, visit

Federal Issues--November-December 2015

Refined Criteria for the Community Energy Category: On December 1st, Infrastructure Canada released a schedule revising the criteria for the Community Energy Systems category as it relates to new building construction and municipal building retrofits. The new schedule provides further detail. 

Under the Community Energy Systems category, energy-efficient components of new building construction and building retrofits may be eligible for Gas Tax Funds (GTF), if they meet the following criteria:

New Building Construction:

  • An energy audit is NOT required if the energy efficiency gained from the new building components can be measured by the number of kilowatt hours or litres of fuel saved.
  • Only the cost differences of those energy efficient building components that exceed National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) standards are eligible for GTF. Municipalities are required to maintain documentation of these components.

 Municipal Building Retrofit:

  • An energy audit IS required to show the number of kilowatt hours or litres of fuel saved from the new energy efficient upgrades.
  • Only the cost differences of those energy efficient upgrades that exceed NBCC standards are eligible for GTF. Municipalities are required to maintain documentation of these components.
  • The cost for an energy audit is GTF-eligible.

It is recommended that municipalities contact the Province to confirm eligibility before beginning any new building construction or building retrofit project for which they intend to use GTF. For further clarification on this revision or to discuss project eligibility, please contact Hardy Stuckless, Manager of Infrastructure Programs, Department of Municipal Affairs at 902 424-2770 or .



Federal MPs:  UNSM is requesting a meeting with the Nova Scotia MPs to discuss the municipal situation in Nova Scotia. Members are encouraged to send any issues or suggestions for change to Betty MacDonald, Executive Director