Halifax councillor Gary Martin was well known for his non-stop work habits. Back in 2002, Coast editor Kyle Shaw wrote of Martin’s new job as coordinator of the city’s community response initiative: “Gary Martin answers his phone. He takes calls over lunch, he phones people back after 5pm. Martin is skilled at dealing with the public---he was a spokesperson for the police department during some of his thirtysomething years as a Halifax cop---and he knows the city’s bureaucracy, plus he works hard, retiring from the force May 31 and starting the CRI job June 1. ‘I don’t dictate to anybody what should happen,’ he says. ‘I ask questions and see what can be done.’”
Martin was later elected to council, representing Bedford. He kept to his council duties even while battling an ever-more debilitating cancer, and was attending council meetings up to December. Martin died this week at the age of 53. This week’s council meeting was cancelled in tribute.