Halifax Regional Council
Halifax Regional Council is the governing body of Halifax, known as the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). Halifax is governed by a mayor-council system, where councillors are elected from sixteen geographic districts though a first past the post system and the Mayor is elected via a municipality wide first past the post vote. Halifax Regional Council was formed in 1996 and consisted of twenty-three councillors and one mayor. It was reduced in size to sixteen councillors and the mayor in 2012. The council meets at Halifax City Hall.
Halifax Regional Council
|Preceded by||Council of City of Halifax |
Council of City of Dartmouth
Council of Town of Bedford
Halifax County Council
New session started
since October 15, 2016
Tony Mancini = November 8, 2018
|Seats||16 plus Mayor|
Length of term
|Authority||Halifax Regional Municipality Charter, 2008|
Deputy Mayor $90,918
|October 15, 2016|
|E. Mari Merces|
Halifax City Hall
|Halifax Regional Council|
The powers and authority of Halifax are laid out in the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter (2008). Halifax Regional Council has established Standing Committees, Community Councils and Advisory Committees to aid in policy development and decision making.
Standing Committees are composed of Councillors, and have responsibility over key functional areas of the municipality, such as transportation or the environment, and can propose, review, debate prior to forwarding reports to Council with recommendations. Community Councils are composed of Councillors and have purview over development, land use, park and community issues in their geographic area, as well as appointments to Standing Committees. Advisory committees include Councillors and citizens, and provide specific advice.
Generally each Councillor sits on two Standing Committees, one or more external boards, and one or more advisory committees. The Mayor is a member of all committees and is entitled to one vote. Residents can only make presentations to committees and community councils, not Regional Council, either through formal presentations prior to or public participation at the end of each meeting.
There are six standing committees of Regional Council. Each committee has six members. The Executive Committee is composed of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and Chair or designated representative appointed by each of the other five standing committees. The remaining five standing committees are appointed through a process that sees each Community Council appoint a representative to ensure geographic balance, and the remaining three members appointed by Council based on expressions of interest.
- Executive Standing Committee
- Appeals Standing Committee
- Audit & Finance Standing Committee
- Community Planning & Economic Development Standing Committee
- Environment & Sustainability Standing Committee
- Transportation Standing Committee
Advisory Committees of Regional Council
- Accessibility Advisory Committee
- Active Transportation Advisory Committee
- ArtsHalifax Advisory Committee
- Community Design Advisory Committee
- Design Review Committee
- Grants Committee
- Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Advisory Committee
- Heritage Advisory Committee
- Investment Policy Advisory Committee
- Port Wallace Community Public Participation Committee
- Regional Watersheds Advisory Board
- Special Events Advisory Committee
Advisory Committees of Community Council
- Districts 7 & 8 Planning Advisory Committee
- North West Planning Advisory Committee
- Point Pleasant Park Advisory Committee
- St. Margaret's Bay Coastal Planning Advisory Committee
- Western Common Advisory Committee
Boards and Commissions
There are two broad types of boards and commission to which HRM appoints Councillors and citizens. First, there are four boards of the regional municipality described by provincial statute that function as arms length boards delivering municipal services, or managing municipal assets. The second are external boards that have been established by other levels of government (Airport, Seaport, etc), are organizations that HRM is a voluntary member of (UNSM, etc) or via contract with HRM but are not subject to direct control by the municipality (Halifax Partnership, etc).
Boards of Regional Municipality
External Board Appointments
- Alderney Landing
- Business Associations & Commissions
- Canadian Urban Transit Association
- Otter Lake Community Monitoring Committee
- Destination Halifax
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities (National Board of Directors)
- Halifax Partnership
- Halifax Harbour Bridges
- Halifax International Airport Authority Board
- Halifax Port Authority
- Metropolitan Regional Housing Authority
- Trade Centre Limited
- Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities
A Community Council in Nova Scotia's Halifax Regional Municipality is a form of local government consisting of several councillors from the larger Halifax Regional Council. Community councils represent a geographic area covering anywhere from five to six municipal districts where councillors consider local matters, make recommendations to Halifax Regional Council, and provide opportunities for public input. The current community councils were adopted after the 2012 election.
Current city council
Office of the Mayor
The Office of the Mayor is located on the third floor of Halifax City Hall. Staffing roles and hiring are directed by the Mayor with the support of the CAO. The current staff of the office consists of
- Chief of Staff
- Special Assistant to the Mayor
- Senior Policy Advisor
- Community Liaison Coordinator
- Administrative Support
- Administrative Assistant
The Council Support Office is located on the fourth floor of Halifax City Hall, with one remote office in Musquodoboit Harbour that is staffed part time, and other unstaffed offices in municipal buildings in some districts. Staffing roles and hiring are the responsibility of the Manager Council Support under the office of the CAO. The current staff of the office consists of nine full time and two part time staff, including the manager.
|District 1 Waverley – Fall River – Musquodoboit Valley||Steve Streatch|
|District 2 Preston – Chezzetcook – Eastern Shore||David Hendsbee|
|District 3 Dartmouth South – Eastern Passage||Bill Karsten|
|District 4 Cole Harbour – Westphal||Lorelei Nicoll|
|District 5 Dartmouth Centre||Sam Austin|
|District 6 Harbourview – Burnside – Dartmouth East||Tony Mancini|
|District 7 Peninsula South Downtown||Waye Mason|
|District 8 Peninsula North||Lindell Smith|
|District 9 Armdale Peninsula West||Shawn Cleary|
|District 10 Halifax – Bedford Basin West||Russell Walker|
|District 11 Spryfield – Sambro Loop – Prospect Road||Steve Adams|
|District 12 Timberlea – Beechville – Clayton Park West||Richard Zurawski|
|District 13 Hammonds Plains – St. Margaret's||Matt Whitman|
|District 14 Middle/Upper Sackville – Beaver Bank – Lucasville||Lisa Blackburn|
|District 15 Lower Sackville||Vacant|
|District 16 Bedford – Wentworth||Tim Outhit|
Elections are held every four years on leap years. By-elections for council seats have been held in 1998, 1999, 2003, 2006 and 2007 after some regional councillors were elected to the provincial legislature.
An examination of boundaries took place throughout 2003/04 upon which there was a redistribution of districts. The 2004 municipal election saw the combination of two districts into one in Cole Harbour, as well as the creation of a new district in Clayton Park West.
- Halifax Regional Community Council
- List of mayors of the Halifax Regional Municipality for a list of mayors for the Halifax Regional Municipality
- List of mayors of Halifax, Nova Scotia for a list of mayors for the former City of Halifax, from 1841 - 1996.
- List of mayors of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for a list of mayors for the former City of Dartmouth, from 1873 - 1996.
- List of mayors of Bedford, Nova Scotia for a list of mayors for the former Town of Bedford, from 1979 - 1996.
- List of wardens of Halifax County, Nova Scotia for a list of wardens for former Halifax County, from 1879 - 1996.
- To confirm the number of councillors and polling districts and to alter the boundaries of polling districts
- Halifax Regional Municipality Charter (2008)
- Administrative Order Number 1 Respecting the Procedures of the Council
- Administrative Order Number 48 Respecting the Creation of Community Councils
- Community Council Advisory Committees
- Office of the Mayor, Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Halifax Council