- IAN SELIG
Let's be honest: sometimes politics can be overwhelming. But we're here to introduce university students to their new home, right here in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). Now that you're here, it's good to know who you can complain to. Knowing who represents your community is an important part of being an engaged citizen, and knowing who can help with which kinds of issues can save you valuable time in your fight for justice.
We've drafted a lineup of local politicians from all levels of government to best serve you. (Who calls your shots depends on where you live, so there's a chance your best bet for change isn't on this list.)
On defence, called up from the national team, there are two guys who have been representing HRM in the House of Commons since 2015. For Halifax city, there's Andy Fillmore—formerly a city planner who's passionate about green infrastructure and who joined the Liberals in the 2015 federal draft pick.
Darren Fisher hangs his Dartmouth-Cole Harbour hat in Ottawa. He's an advocate for mental health awareness and poverty reduction.
These two are Members of Parliament on the federal level. They are the people to go to about a change you want to see under national rules like parks, ports or pot. They're the go-to guys for international relations and some immigration issues. They have a say on that sweet, sweet federal money, which can partner with provincial and municipal governments for some big-scale changes.
In the midfield, there's our provincial representatives. Go to them with questions and concerns about healthcare, education, the justice system or the RCMP.
Since 2009, Gary Burill has been an MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly), and was recently elected to represent Halifax-Chebucto in 2017. He also serves as the leader of the Nova Scotia NDP.
Lisa Roberts is the MLA for Halifax-Needham, a former CBC radio host, and is often at events in the city—introduce yourself!
In the offensive lineup, Halifax Regional Council has 16 local councillors whose field-of-play stretches from Hubbards to Ketch Harbour. Regional councillors make decisions about life in Halifax, from bike lanes to development, arts funding, recreational programming, libraries and Halifax Regional Police. They're the go-to for all things local. (Council can make recommendations to the province on things like housing, healthcare and justice, but doesn't have the final say.)
In District 8, Halifax Peninsula North, Lindell Smith is the councillor. From his days co-founding a non-profit music studio for youth to advocating for accountability within city hall, if you live north of Quinpool Road and East of Oxford Street, he's your man.
In District 7, Halifax South Downtown—that's you SMU, Dal and King's—Waye Mason is your councillor. He has degrees from Dalhousie, Saint Mary's and NSCC, and he was one of the founders of Halifax Pop Explosion music festival.
Over in Dartmouth—for you NSCC Akerley students—is District 5 councillor Sam Austin, an urban planner by trade who got his undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University.
And finally, Halifax's Mayor: Mike Savage. Mayor since 2012, he says he's proud of his leadership role settling Syrian refugees in Halifax, and he isn't afraid to crack a joke in the name of levity and laughter. The Mayor's office is a good place to bring attention to your complaints—or your achievements.