The Halifax Chamber of Commerce is elated with the Utilities and Review Board’s decision that Halifax Regional Council should be cut to 16 districts and 16 councillors to represent those districts. “I have to admit that I was surprised, very pleasantly surprised,” says Chamber President Valerie Payn. “This is a bold decision and bold step in what we feel is the right direction.”
“We heard time and time again from our members, and community members at large that they wanted to see a reduction in the size of Council,” says Payn. “We are happy to see that the URB factored the public opinion into its decision making.”
“We do not expect that reducing the size of council alone will create the growing, prosperous, vibrant city that people tell us they want – but a smaller group always makes decision making easier,” adds Payn. A smaller council will be better able to work together, be more focused and cohesive,” adds Payn. “However, reducing the size of council won’t do the job alone. The onus will fall to Council to be leaders and ensure we have an effective Council devoted to making Halifax better.”
“Council now has an opportunity here to be bold and strong, showing other cities what can be done and demonstrate the leadership that our city so desperately needs and deserves,” continues Payn.
“We started our work to reduce the size of council more than five years ago and it is truly rewarding to see this finally and dramatically come to fruition,” says Payn.
“Now there is a difficult road ahead for Council as they review polling district boundaries as the second phase of this boundary review,” says Payn.