Contact me at:
Phone: 902-240-0441
E-mail: paul.russell@halifax.ca

 

Constituency Coordinator:
Quentin Hill
Phone: 902-490-1463
E-mail: hillq@halifax.ca

 

Housing Security and Affordable Housing

Ever since I’ve been in office, I’ve been working on housing insecurity, and so has the municipality. To say that this is a complex issue is an understatement.

Legislatively, housing is a provincial responsibility. More important than that, however, housing is a human responsibility. HRM Council has a strong interest in helping with the housing crisis, even though it isn’t in our mandate. (One challenge is that any funding that goes to housing doesn’t go to our defined mandate, so we have to limit other HRM services or we have to raise taxes and fees.)

We (HRM) have been struggling between what we could or should do and what we can do. We’ve also seen what has been happening with the temporary shelters and the tents showing up in public spaces and the lack of affordable housing.

I’ve written a post where I talk about broad housing challenges:

Please have a look and let me know your thoughts on how we can improve the situation about homelessness and housing insecurity.

“Red Book” Update

The “Red Book” is the set of municipal design guidelines that HRM uses when building streets, sidewalks, and more.

This book specifies the rules for how something should be built, and not why it should be built. It will talk about the dimensions of a sign, but not the justification for a sign to be placed or removed. The rules about why fall within the traffic division and in a lot of cases is left to the experts in that field.

The Red Book helps us issue tenders so that everyone knows what to expect; vendors can bid on a level playing field; and we can evaluate and confirm their work more easily.

Every few years the red book is updated to incorporate the latest improvements in technology and the street structure. The Red Book was last released in 2013, and is nearing the end of another review cycle.

Read more about this, and about what could be changed, and about how you can help, by clicking here.

We need your help to get this one right.

First Lake Water Quality

First Lake is one of the gems of Lower Sackville. Due to construction, and the unchecked silt flowing in to it 40 years ago, it had suffered greatly. It had been an aerial landmark because it was an orange lake.

There has been an ongoing bacteria issue with the lake at Kinsmen Beach. This is what prompted the construction of the Kinsmen splash pad. The beach went from being a supervised and tested beach, to just being tested, and in 2020 no testing was done. We had been moving backwards, and I started addressing this as soon as I was elected.

I’ve been working with the Friends of First Lake to get First Lake tested in the areas that are pinpointed above. These locations are a) where the storm drains flow in by Glendale, b) by the Sackville Sports Stadium, c) by Kinsmen Beach, d) by the Sack-a-wa canoe club, and e) where the water exits the lake at Sucker Brook.

I was able to get HRM Council to approve spending up to $150K get these areas of the lake tested for the source of the e.coli. This is a huge step to help forward to help restore First Lake to a healthy state.

Read more about this by clicking here

Neighbourhood Speeding

We had one election in 2019 and another in 2020.

In both of these elections the number one issue that you talked about was speeding on neighbourhood streets. This problem has been described as a problem all around Lower Sackville, and also in many areas around HRM.

There are two general ways to slow traffic down. The first is to change the streets to make it more difficult to speed. The second is to encourage and remind drivers to respect the posted speed limit.

We use both methods to help reduce the speeding on our streets.

Please click here to read the full post.

Housing Security and Affordable Housing

Ever since I’ve been in office, I’ve been working on housing insecurity, and so has the municipality. To say that this is a complex issue is an understatement.

Legislatively, housing is a provincial responsibility. More important than that, however, housing is a human responsibility. HRM Council has a strong interest in helping with the housing crisis, even though it isn’t in our mandate. (One challenge is that any funding that goes to housing doesn’t go to our defined mandate, so we have to limit other HRM services or we have to raise taxes and fees.)

We (HRM) have been struggling between what we could or should do and what we can do. We’ve also seen what has been happening with the temporary shelters and the tents showing up in public spaces and the lack of affordable housing.

I’ve written a post where I talk about broad housing challenges:

Please have a look and let me know your thoughts on how we can improve the situation about homelessness and housing insecurity.

“Red Book” Update

The “Red Book” is the set of municipal design guidelines that HRM uses when building streets, sidewalks, and more.

This book specifies the rules for how something should be built, and not why it should be built. It will talk about the dimensions of a sign, but not the justification for a sign to be placed or removed. The rules about why fall within the traffic division and in a lot of cases is left to the experts in that field.

The Red Book helps us issue tenders so that everyone knows what to expect; vendors can bid on a level playing field; and we can evaluate and confirm their work more easily.

Every few years the red book is updated to incorporate the latest improvements in technology and the street structure. The Red Book was last released in 2013, and is nearing the end of another review cycle.

Read more about this, and about what could be changed, and about how you can help, by clicking here.

We need your help to get this one right.

First Lake Water Quality

First Lake is one of the gems of Lower Sackville. Due to construction, and the unchecked silt flowing in to it 40 years ago, it had suffered greatly. It had been an aerial landmark because it was an orange lake.

There has been an ongoing bacteria issue with the lake at Kinsmen Beach. This is what prompted the construction of the Kinsmen splash pad. The beach went from being a supervised and tested beach, to just being tested, and in 2020 no testing was done. We had been moving backwards, and I started addressing this as soon as I was elected.

I’ve been working with the Friends of First Lake to get First Lake tested in the areas that are pinpointed above. These locations are a) where the storm drains flow in by Glendale, b) by the Sackville Sports Stadium, c) by Kinsmen Beach, d) by the Sack-a-wa canoe club, and e) where the water exits the lake at Sucker Brook.

I was able to get HRM Council to approve spending up to $150K get these areas of the lake tested for the source of the e.coli. This is a huge step to help forward to help restore First Lake to a healthy state.

Read more about this by clicking here

Neighbourhood Speeding

We went through one election in 2019 and another in 2020. In both of these elections the number one issue that you talked about was speeding on neighbourhood streets. This problem has been described as a problem all around Lower Sackville, and also in many areas around HRM.

There are two general ways to slow traffic down. The first is to change the streets to make it more difficult to speed. The second is to encourage and remind drivers to respect the posted speed limit.

We use both methods to help reduce the speeding on our streets.

Please click here to read the full post.

Join my mailing list

With this mailing list, I send out updates about the work that I am doing  and about the HRM work that would affect you.

I have been …

  • Working for our community – making Sackville an even better place to live
  • Working in a professional manner – treating people with respect and making sure that everyone knows what to expect
  • Collaborating with others to ensure that the load is shared and that we get the job done.

I represent your interests by considering …

  • What is best for our community and our country
  • Fiscal accountability, balanced with progressive social policy and individual freedoms
  • Respect for all Canadians equally and supporting Canadians first
  • Personal and corporate responsibility and accountability
  • Evidence based decision making
  • Support for sustainable development
  • A balance between environmental and economic issues

I am always looking to be make myself more available. Each day I have been publishing my agenda, my time at a coffee shop, and a copy of my calendar (this calendar may show some available times that have actually been booked).

If you are looking at this on your phone then you may find it easier to use your phone in the landscape orientation instead of portrait.

Please get in touch with me or with my constituency coordinator (above) to book a meeting.