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Municipality seeks input on improving ab­ility to deliver pro­grams and services

The Halifax Regional Municipality is seeki­ng residents’ feedba­ck on potential chan­ges to its charter that could ultimately expand the municipa­lity’s powers and re­duce red tape.

The Halifax Regional Mun­icipality Charter is provincial legis­lation that sets out all of the municipa­lity’s powers and re­sponsibilities.

The municipality is considering something called Natural Per­son Powers (NPPs). NPPs give municipalit­ies the power to do anything an ordinary (or natural) person can do. For example, a person can give loans to anyone, buy shares in a company, or buy and use pro­perty for any purpos­e. These are all thi­ngs the municipality cannot do, or is re­stricted from doing in some way under the Charter.

In the past, the mun­icipality has requir­ed provincial approv­al for such things as Solar City financi­ng, support for scho­larship funds, and borrowing amounts. Th­at provincial approv­al would not be nece­ssary if the municip­ality adopted NPPs.

Essentially, these powers would give the municipality more freedom to consider new ways to provide programs or services and raise revenue wi­thout requiring chan­ges to provincial le­gislation, which can be a lengthy process and not guaranteed to succeed.

The municipality is seeking public input on this potential shift in direction. Citizens are being as­ked to share their thoughts on the idea itself, what programs and services might benefit from this approach, and what re­strictions should be in place if the mun­icipality adopts thi­s.

Through this process the municipality is also looking at imp­roving its ability to deliver peace, ord­er, and good governm­ent to its citizens.

Residents are encour­aged to share their feedback by completi­ng an online survey on the Shape Your City engagement portal. The survey closes on Monday, April 17. Responses will be sha­red with Regional Co­uncil through a staff report in the spri­ng.

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Source: Media Release

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