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District 12

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The free-for-all in Timberlea—Beechville—Clayton Park—Wedgewood

All the candidates and issues facing District 12 this election.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Clayton Park and its surrounding suburban areas make up the most populated parts of District 12, bordering the sprawling BLIP (Bayers Lake Industrial Park), vast wilderness lands near Blue Mountain-Birch Cove and the historic African-Nova Scotian communities in Beechville. Click here for HRM’s boundary description. - AKIRA ARRUDA
  • Clayton Park and its surrounding suburban areas make up the most populated parts of District 12, bordering the sprawling BLIP (Bayers Lake Industrial Park), vast wilderness lands near Blue Mountain-Birch Cove and the historic African-Nova Scotian communities in Beechville. Click here for HRM’s boundary description.
  • AKIRA ARRUDA

The last of four open races this election—thanks to Reg Rankin's decision not to re-offer. The battle for District 12 builds off of Otter Lake and Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes, which on their own were two of the biggest decisions council voted on during the past year. Residents in these communities will be wanting reassurances that HRM will keep its promises, while looking ahead to new challenges.

Eligible voters: 19,822 (as of 2014)
(Up by about a thousand from 2012)
Past voter turnout: 34.90 percent

The Candidates
Six candidates are battling it out to replace the outgoing Reg Rankin on Regional Council, though only two actually live in District 12. Former Canadian Forces member Scott Guthrie, paramedic John Bignell, former Liberal MLA Bruce Holland and 2012 council candidate Bruce E. Smith all have homes in other districts. In Guthrie’s case at least, that’s the result of the boundary re-jiggering in 2012. All of the candidates have strong ties to the communities of Timberlea—Beechville—Clayton Park—Wedgewood, so it remains to be seen if the residency question makes on impact on votes, but justice department administrative assistance Iona Stoddard is certainly making it a part of her campaign. News 95.7 meteorologist Richard Zurawski—the only other candidate save Stoddard to live in District 12—is instead focusing his campaign warning about the oncoming effects of climate change.

The Issues
For years the biggest concern in District 12 was the future of the Otter Lake Landfill. Depending on who you ask, that file’s now either closed or still diligently needs to be defended. Last winter council voted against increasing the landfill’s cell heights, extending its life and saving the city millions. But that decision was controversially enacted into provincial legislation by Rankin’s son, MLA Iain Rankin, tying council’s hands should the landfill reach its max height early. Meanwhile, the municipality has finally committed itself to purchasing lands from Annapolis Developments to create the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Wilderness Park after a decade of promises. It’s far from a done deal, however, since prices and terms still need to be negotiated. All of which is to say, the next councillor in District 12 should do their research now on the complicated files they’re about to be handed.

Click here to find out more info on how, where and when you can vote in HRM’s municipal election.


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Monday, October 3, 2016

15 questions with District 12 candidate Richard Zurawski

“Halifax has yet to come to terms with the fact that the effects of climate change are happening right now.”

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Zurawski can be reached at votezurawski@gmail.com, or via Facebook and Twitter. - VIA CANDIDATE
  • Zurawski can be reached at votezurawski@gmail.com, or via Facebook and Twitter.
  • via candidate

The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Richard Zurawski from Timberlea—Beechville—Clayton Park—Wedgewood sent back.

———

Why should residents of your district vote for you?

I intend to make my decisions at council based on evidence, integrity and communication. I believe that the information and facts of any circumstance should supersede any vested interest. I also believe the councillors need to be more transparent regarding the support they receive from outside vested interests. The perception of honesty is almost as important as honesty itself. I intend to be actively involved in all the interests of District 12, Halifax and Nova Scotia. We have many issues facing us in the future, not the least of which are the effects of climate change. Halifax and council have to date, not planned very well for the coming changes, which include, potential drought, rising sea levels, increased storm frequency and intensity, as well as a host of other related issues. It is time for council to make smart decisions based on the evidence, and I feel, that I have the skills, the education, the will, and the integrity to help council move ahead over the next four years to address these issues.

What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?

This year for the first time, we saw some of the spectres of what climate change means to Halifax. The fire ban and the protracted drought were harbingers of what is to come, and all related to climate change. To date, Halifax has yet to come to terms with the fact that the effects of climate change are happening right now. The time to make decisions on this is now. Not only do we need to talk—we need to act.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

The uselessness of surveys.

What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?

I am not political enough.

What was the first concert you ever went to?
Leonard Cohen

What was the last movie you didn’t finish?

Anything from Hollywood.

What pisses you off?

Climate change deniers and useless surveys.

What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?

Rampant unrestricted development.

What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?

Doing useless surveys.

What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?

Doing useless surveys.

What’s your go-to meal when cooking?

Bacon and eggs.

What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?

A lack of science understanding, and vested interests intruding in the decision-making.

How would you describe your opponents in this race?

Other well-intentioned people.

What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?

Why anyone would think the surveys of use.

What do you promise NOT to do if elected?

Do another useless survey.

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

15 questions with District 12 candidate Bruce E. Smith

“I am only interested in what 'they' have to say.”

Posted By on Sun, Oct 2, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Smith can be reached at 902-209-2010 and bruce@votebrucesmith.com, or via Facebook and Twitter. - LENNY MULLINS
  • Smith can be reached at 902-209-2010 and bruce@votebrucesmith.com, or via Facebook and Twitter.
  • LENNY MULLINS

The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Bruce E. Smith from Timberlea—Beechville—Clayton Park—Wedgewood sent back.

———

Why should residents of your district vote for you?

Proven community leadership over several years.

What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?

I am only interested in what 'they' have to say.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

What day? What subject?

What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?

Do you ever stop working?

What was the first concert you ever went to?
Locally, The Pepper Tree at the Centennial Area. Nationally, Jeff Beck, Massey Hall.

What was the last movie you didn’t finish?

That really bad one!


What pisses you off?

Ignorance and disrespect.

What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?

The cultural diversity within our community.

What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?

Leaving the landscape architectural program at Ryerson University.

What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?

The Bernese mountain dog that wanted to come home with me while I was campaigning the other night.

What’s your go-to meal when cooking?

Usually, an Indian dish that I cook with fresh spices.

What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?

The present Regional Council's inability to look at the long-view and its sometime refusal to fill its constituents’ desires.

How would you describe your opponents in this race?

Challenging!

What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?

To pilot a helicopter

What do you promise NOT to do if elected?

To vote against the wishes of the constituents of District 12 and HRM.

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

15 questions with District 12 candidate John Bignell

“In the last four years, District 12 has come alive, and I can’t wait to see what the next four years have in store.”

Posted By on Sat, Oct 1, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Bignell can be reached at 902-223-1945 and contact@johnbignell.ca, or via Facebook and Twitter. - LENNY MULLINS
  • Bignell can be reached at 902-223-1945 and contact@johnbignell.ca, or via Facebook and Twitter.
  • LENNY MULLINS

The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what John Bignell from Timberlea—Beechville—Clayton Park—Wedgewood sent back.

———

Why should residents of your district vote for you?

I hope to represent District 12 at Regional Council by bringing my skills as an advanced care paramedic to city politics: specifically, critical thinking, working in team environments under stressful circumstances, and being held accountable to the people that I serve by the decisions that I make.

What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?

The reintroduction of national organized crime in our city and the negative effects it is having on our community’s health and wellness.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

The HRSB candidates. They play such a critical role in the future of our youth and don’t get the visibility they deserve.

What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?

I need to maintain a healthy home & work life balance.

What was the first concert you ever went to?
Milli Vanilli opened by Young MC in 1990.

What was the last movie you didn’t finish?
Snowpiercer

What pisses you off?

People who tell me they don’t care about elections and don’t vote.

What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?

The community has really come together and accomplished a lot since 2012. We have stood up and stopped the proposed changes to Otter Lake. We have filled a room full of engaged citizens to speak up for Blue Mountain-Birch Cove. We have successfully rekindled a Canada Day Celebration in BLT for the first time in decades. In the last four years, District 12 has come alive, and I can’t wait to see what the next four years have in store.

What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?

If I have a gut feeling, don’t automatically defer to the person in charge, push harder.

What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?

Car karaoke with the family.

What’s your go-to meal when cooking?

Toad in the hole.

What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?

I spent the first part of my paramedic career dealing with medical emergencies related to organized crime in our city. The reintroduction of this group back into our city, and the lack of discussion around them, has me concerned.

How would you describe your opponents in this race?

I am proud to share the company of this group of dedicated people who are so passionate about our district.

What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?

Another language.

What do you promise NOT to do if elected?

I promise not to get too comfortable.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

15 questions with District 12 candidate Scott Guthrie

“We can't talk enough about waste management. Let's stay a world leader in this area!”

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Guthrie can be reached at 902-702-8889 and - info@scottguthrie.ca, or via Facebook and Twitter. - LENNY MULLINS
  • Guthrie can be reached at 902-702-8889 and info@scottguthrie.ca, or via Facebook and Twitter.
  • LENNY MULLINS

The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Scott Guthrie from Timberlea—Beechville—Clayton Park—Wedgewood sent back.

———

Why should residents of your district vote for you?

I understand that District 12 is a diverse district with lots of different priorities and yet many common concerns. I want to put a voice on council that recognizes that diversity and is willing to raise the issues that matter to all parts of the district to ensure that every voice is heard and receives equal representation.

What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?

As vice-chair for the Otter Lake Monitoring Committee, we can't talk enough about waste management. Let's stay a world leader in this area! Furthermore, looking closer at growing Halifax into a more inclusive and accessible municipality that is welcoming to everyone and encourages sustainable growth.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

Council minutes about the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove decision.

What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?

The fact that I don't currently live inside the District 12 boundaries as of the 2012 changes. That's absolutely accurate, but my connections with #HRM12 are lifelong and dedicated. I know the district, I was born and raised in BLT, my children feed into the Halifax West School system and I have been extremely involved for many years in groups and organizations across the entire district. It is not about where I go to sleep, it is about where my roots are and where I have proven myself as a leader for the betterment of all communities across #HRM12.

What was the first concert you ever went to?

Triumph—Thunder 7 Tour, 1985 at the Halifax Metro Centre (ScotiaBank Centre).

What was the last movie you didn’t finish?

I've tried a couple of times to watch movies after a day on the campaign trail. Never get past the opening credits...

What pisses you off?

Anyone on the road (drivers, bikers, pedestrians) who don't obey the rules of the road as they pertain to them—especially around crosswalks.

What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?

A lot more conversation online! Lots of social media channels available where citizens have a direct line to their councillors and other government representatives. There's a Facebook group for every neighbourhood. It's challenging to keep up with all of the conversations but it provides great insight into what people feel is important, and keeps representatives accountable to their constituents.

What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?

I'm brand new to politics, so no regrets yet! Professionally, any mistakes I've made have been learning experiences, so there isn't much to regret about gaining a better understanding of the work you're entrusted to do.

What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?

My son and his friends goofing around in the backyard.

What’s your go-to meal when cooking?

Anything I can put on the barbecue. Well, unless it is a late night snack, then I love a warm bowl of soup—wonton soup being my all-time favourite.

What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?

Getting back to the basics, the core responsibilities of services that the municipality seems to have difficulty providing. Our road maintenance, crosswalks, snow removal, waste management, pedestrian safety, traffic calming measures, inclusion and accessibility, sports and recreation, affordable housing, active transportation, public transit and responsible development in line with sustainable growth that is in balance with surrounding communities.

How would you describe your opponents in this race?

I don't know many of them personally, but for the most part I can say our interactions have been respectful. I appreciate what it takes to run in an election, so I admire them for stepping forward to offer.

What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?

My wife is an incredible artist. Some day, when we're retired, maybe, she's going to teach me to paint something other than the walls and ceilings.

What do you promise NOT to do if elected?

I promise not to break, this, my one promise: If you choose to elect me as your representative, I promise to fully represent YOU and your concerns at the council table. I commit to giving you my dedicated support, to work hard for you and to echo your voice in council. I will fight for what is right, and what is needed. I promise that my leadership will be a partnership with the people I represent. I will work with you, beside you and when needed, lead you, all in an effort to better the communities of District 12 and that of the entire municipality.

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