HalifACT 2050

Major investments will be required to decarbonize the building and transportation sectors and to generate clean electricity, amongst other actions. These investments will generate employment and stimulate new and existing businessesLow carbon investments generate financial returns. By including energy storage with renewable generation, communities will be more resilient to power outages from extreme weather events, and will be better able to supply essential services to the community.

Climate change is having, and will continue to have, a negative financial impact on Halifax. Decarbonizing and adapting to the impacts of climate change will require major investments, and mobilizing funding commensurate with the challenge will be difficult at many levels. However, the cost of inaction will only grow over time. Every dollar invested proactively can save as much as four24 to six25 dollars on recovery. Many decision-makers do not yet recognize the choice they face between paying predictable costs today for mitigation and adaptation, compared to delaying action and paying higher and unpredictable costs later to try and cope with the impacts of climate change. Halifax will establish new mechanisms

 

SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A CLIMATE ACTION PLAN.

DECARBONIZING TRANSPORTATION

THE LARGEST URBAN CENTRE OF THE MARITIMES - HOME TO ALMOST HALF THE NOVA SCOTIAN POPULATION.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in HRM now exceeds $1000. This is over half the monthly income of a full-time minimum wage worker.  If rents continue to increase at the current rate, Greater Halifax will soon become a place most of the population today won't be able to afford - and for many, it already is. We need a Rent Freeze right now. Our future Regional Council should demand the provincial government immediately set a 0% rent increase until the province and its people experience economic recovery, much like the one that took place earlier this year.

 

In Addition - 4 the benefit of renters AND homeowners...

 

In 2017, Halifax Regional Council unanimously voted for the mayor to write the NS government and compel them to end the Capped Assessment Program. I don’t know if the Mayor or Council ever actually sent the letter. Either way, I’d love to see this municipality take a firm stance and apply serious pressure. The provincial program was started with good intentions, however 15 years later and its flaws are apparent. 

 

"The Cap has made property taxes more stable and predictable for existing homeowners, but only in the short-term. Municipal property taxation has become extremely inconsistent throughout the region, with large variations in tax between homeowners living in similar structures. Low income individuals who do own a home pay lower taxes because of the Assessment Cap, however such families also have increased difficulty moving, as they would lose their Cap and face increased property taxes if they did. Rental pricing is being adversely affected as well. The majority of low-income individuals in Halifax reside in apartments. An apartment building’s tax bill is paid by the landlord and passed on to tenants through their monthly rent. The Cap has shifted higher taxes towards apartment buildings while also making it more difficult for renters to purchase their first home.

 

...It is also worth noting that Halifax, unlike other municipalities in the Province, has the authority to set policies limiting the increase in taxes payable by different residential taxpayers. Section 97 of the HRM Charter allows Council to limit residential property tax increases to a set percentage. Tools such as this may play a part in a larger solution or a transition to a different system. For instance, on its own accord Council could limit the increase in the tax bill of all homes regardless of whether they are capped or not capped by limiting the increase in assessed values for the purposes of taxes by a set percentage. This would be administratively complex but would eliminate some of the existing distortions. Staff would have to consider if they might modify this approach so it could apply to newly constructed homes.” 

- The Capped Assessment Program in Halifax, 2017

INCREASE COMMUNITY CAPACITY

More resilient neighbourhoods make a more resilient city. While comfort centres exist across the municipality and are critically important for emergency management, neighbourhoods that invest in connections, capacity building, and resources on a sustained basis are better able to withstand crises and address many of the chronic socioeconomic stresses that increase climate vulnerability. Increasing the built and social capacity of neighbourhoods not only empowers them to be more independently resilient, but contributes to the resilience of the region as a whole. Each community will identify priorities and leaders to build capacity and connections with other communities to share resources, training, knowledge and solutions. The Municipality will help support capacity building and foster engagement and connectivity across communities.

PLAN 4 RISING SEAS

PARKS TRAILS COMMUNITY GARDENSNatural areas and green infrastructure increase water infiltration and reduce runoff, reduce the heat island effect, improve water quality, provide shade and areas for reprieve, and sequester carbon.

 

Naturalization is an ecological approach to landscape management that enhances biodiversity and improves ecosystem health and resilience in an urban environment. Naturalization reduces maintenance requirements and costs, as systems are self-renewing and resilient, and provides more naturalized space to residents and wildlife. Halifax Regional Council provided direction to expand naturalization efforts in parks and rights-of-way areas in January 2019. Both the Urban Forest Master Plan and the Green Network Plan highlight the benefits that are associated with increased naturalization and biodiversity

We will not succeed in addressing climate change if we do not protect and enhance the natural environment we depend on for survival. Natural areas like forests and wetlands produce oxygen, filter the air we breathe, clean our drinking water, hold flood waters, regulate climate and absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Valuing these important functions economically is critical to their consideration in decision-making. Natural capital allows for this analysis, defined as “the stock of natural resources (finite or renewable) and ecosystems that provide direct or indirect benefits to the economy, our society, and the world around us.”21 By assigning value to things like flood control and climate regulation, these natural assets can be considered more meaningfully in cost benefit analyses and decision-making.

GREEN SPACES

PARKS TRAILS COMMUNITY GARDENSNatural areas and green infrastructure increase water infiltration and reduce runoff, reduce the heat island effect, improve water quality, provide shade and areas for reprieve, and sequester carbon.

 

Naturalization is an ecological approach to landscape management that enhances biodiversity and improves ecosystem health and resilience in an urban environment. Naturalization reduces maintenance requirements and costs, as systems are self-renewing and resilient, and provides more naturalized space to residents and wildlife. Halifax Regional Council provided direction to expand naturalization efforts in parks and rights-of-way areas in January 2019. Both the Urban Forest Master Plan and the Green Network Plan highlight the benefits that are associated with increased naturalization and biodiversity

We will not succeed in addressing climate change if we do not protect and enhance the natural environment we depend on for survival. Natural areas like forests and wetlands produce oxygen, filter the air we breathe, clean our drinking water, hold flood waters, regulate climate and absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Valuing these important functions economically is critical to their consideration in decision-making. Natural capital allows for this analysis, defined as “the stock of natural resources (finite or renewable) and ecosystems that provide direct or indirect benefits to the economy, our society, and the world around us.”21 By assigning value to things like flood control and climate regulation, these natural assets can be considered more meaningfully in cost benefit analyses and decision-making.

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