A void has been filled in the social fabric in Halifax. It consists of frozen water, hot beverages, deep fried dough, fire pits, and bleachers. The Canada Games Skating Oval is the talk of the town. It’s where every age can congregate; enjoy good old wholesome fun, exercise, and social interaction with people from all over our municipality, and beyond the municipal borders.
The venue has become the conversation on talk radio, newspapers, and social media because of our desperate need for more social capital. What defines social capital? On a Government of Canada website it explains it as:
“People and communities with good access to a diverse mix of social capital tend to be more ‘hired, housed, healthy and happy.’ Although views about the precise definition of social capital differ, social capital is essentially about the ways in which one’s social relationships provide access to needed information, resources and supports.
Public policy interest in social capital has grown worldwide in recent years. The concept has been linked to a broad range of issues including health, labour market outcomes, immigrant integration and diversity management, poverty and social exclusion, crime and safety, neighbourhood revitalization and civic renewal.”
In other words, citizens want the ability to be engaged in tangible social events so they may feel good about where they live. Nocturne is another great example of building social capital in our society. Positive interactions with others boost pride and restores faith in governments as well.
Moreover, this would allow for more family activities other than playing with a Wii. Rinks are at a premium and this would allow for the rinks to be utilized more for organized hockey.
This is where Council needs to be leaders and listen to the desires of the residents. Yes, finances may try to dictate the results, but can we afford not to listen to the citizens? I have no doubt in my mind that some citizens/ Councillors/ staff will not be in favour of retaining this venue, but do they understand that with creative thinking, and the “user pay” concept that this can be self sustaining. Just think; your dollar investment could help make Halifax a more progressive and fun place to live, work, and play.
What do you think? Email me at sloaned@halifax .ca