Halifax Votes 2016: Talking Shannon Park and transit woes in District 6
Metro talks to Josh Hogan about the big issues in Harbourview – Burnside – Dartmouth East.
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Josh Hogan is hoping people in his district do what they didn’t do last time there was an election: head to the polls.
“Things don’t really change. It stays the status quo when only 20 per cent of people vote,” Hogan said in a recent interview.
Voter turnout in a byelection in District 6 in January was just 18 per cent.
“I don’t know the answer to getting that up because politics isn’t interesting to most people, but it should be.”
It is interesting to Hogan, a musician and co-founder of a music PR and management firm. He identifies the redevelopment of the Shannon Park lands as a major issue in the district.
“So far, the plan for that seems to be at least mostly positive: mixed residential, some business. So that’s kind of an exciting thing,” he said.
“It’s not gonna be a giant wasteful stadium.”
He’s hoping that redevelopment will include low-income housing for the area as rents continue to rise, and he thinks the plans are looking like a step in the right direction.
Another big issue for Hogan is transit. Since the Big Lift started, he’s felt cut off from the rest of the municipality.
“It is slowly getting better, but I think there needs to be a lot more done for city transit, especially if they want us to utilize it more,” he said.
“I think they need to do more to increase ridership.”
He suggests a move similar to one in Cape Breton, where transit was free for two months.
“I would love to see something where they even offered free buses on weekends or nights while the bridge is closed for the inconvenience, just to see them get more people on the buses,” he said.
Hogan makes his transit woes well known on Twitter, and has interacted on several occasions with his councillor, Tony Mancini. He’s been impressed with the councillor’s willingness to engage with constituents, “especially ones like me that might seem a little more aggressive on Twitter.”
Mancini has been on the job for less than eight months, and is already back on a ballot.
He won the byelection in Harbourview – Burnside – Dartmouth East in January after the area’s last councilor, Darren Fisher, moved on to federal politics.
None of Mancini’s opponents in that election have stepped up this time. Instead, the incumbent will face just one challenger: Carlos Beals, a community outreach worker with the anti-violence group CeaseFire Halifax.
Meet the candidates:
How to vote:
- e-voting (online and by telephone) starts Oct. 4, runs every day till Oct. 13
- Advanced polling in person on Oct. 8, 11
- Election Day is Oct. 15
Qualifications: must be at least 18 years old, Canadian citizen, Nova Scotia resident for six months, and an HRM resident before the first advanced polling day
Check if you’re registered: votersearch.halifax.ca/hrm/onvoterslist.html
Which district you live in: apps.halifax.ca/districtlookup
Where to vote: votersearch.halifax.ca/hrm/wheretovote.html
Any other questions: call 902-490-VOTE (8683) or 1-844-301-VOTE (8683) or email email@example.com