UNSM Announcements--February 2017

Open Data Council

On December 14, 2016, UNSM President Laurie Murley signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Province of Nova Scotia, Halifax, and the Property Valuation Services Corporation, to find ways to harness the potential of Open Data. The MOU establishes an Open Data Council to identify opportunities for collaboration and consultation across governments and the business sector. The Council will also help educate and communicate best practices in open data and provide strategic advice on how best to use and promote open data.

A new web portal, known as datazONE, (www.thedatazone.ca), available to municipalities, is funded, managed and administered by PVSC. Currently the portal includes data and information from Cape Breton Regional Municipality, and connects to data sets available on both the Halifax and Municipality of East Hants's open data portals. All municipalities are encouraged to become involved in providing open data; there is no direct cost for municipalities to participate in this service. The Open Data Council will help and all data sets and information will be checked to ensure it meets privacy requirements.

Municipalities interested in learning more about open data and the datazONE should contact, Trudy LeBlanc, CMM, Sr. Advisor Municipal Client Relations, Property Valuation Services Corporation ().


Engage Nova Scotia/UNSM Partnership

Engage Nova Scotia has partnered with UNSM and the Department of Municipal Affairs to increase the level and quality of public engagement in Nova Scotia’s communities. We hope this partnership will support you in your efforts to engage citizens, create more buy-in, and work together towards shared goals.

Municipal officials will soon receive a link to a survey to gather information about what is already working in your region and areas that might need extra support. We encourage your participation. We also invite you to join a conference call on Monday, March 20 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., when you will hear about the survey results and have an opportunity to exchange ideas about challenges, new approaches, and best practices in community engagement.

Engage will also send out more information about their “Engagement Clinic” to be held May 10, immediately prior to our UNSM Spring Workshop. This will be an opportunity for councillors and staff to work through their engagement ideas, challenges, or active projects with the support of engagement professionals as well as other UNSM members.

Engage is also available ongoing as a sounding board and learning partner. Contact the Engage office at (902) 407-2582 or to find out more about the resources available to you as you pursue greater engagement in your community.

We welcome the opportunities this partnership presents and encourage you to take advantage of the resources Engage is making available to our membership.