Halifax Votes 2016: Halifax heritage and development in District 7
Metro talks to Dylan Ames about the big issues in Halifax South - Downtown.
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If you’ve been following Metro’s election coverage this week, you may have noticed a recurring theme in the election issues in each district: development.
In the district of Halifax South – Downtown, the issue is arguably amplified.
“This is the front line here in District 7. This is where the money’s coming,” said Dylan Ames, a Dalhousie planning student and District 7 resident.
“Lotta towers going up, a lotta heritage buildings at risk of going down.”
Ames is on the municipality’s Heritage Advisory Committee, and he doesn’t think there’s enough being done to preserve heritage in the municipality, especially in his district.
“It’s coming up short right now, and that’s not a sentiment that’s not echoed in or out of City Hall,” he said. “We don’t have the controls we need to be able to stop when things are coming down. And finding the means to do that has been slow going.”
He also feels the discourse around development and heritage needs to change.
“We get a lot of that back and forth about development versus heritage,” he said. “I think getting beyond that to something a little more refined, to a conversation about, ‘What do we care about preserving and why?’”
Something Ames thinks isn’t talked about enough in the area is affordable housing.
“I feel like this district is where all the people who can afford to stay have stayed…which is why you hear a lot more about affordable housing and a lot more social issues in the north end, because I feel like anything that would’ve been that discourse here has been chased away,” he said.
“You have a few people who hold strong and firm and have been here for 20 years, and then you have the transient student population who are dealing with low-quality rentals, are dealing with kind of whatever comes their way, dealing with apartment buildings, and not able to afford the new condo buildings that are going up here.”
Ames also said he’s looking forward to the Centre Plan, but hopes it’s allowed to run its course, and not politicized during the election.
“I’m kind of hoping it isn’t an election issue because I hope it can exist separate of the rabble,” he said.
Most of all, he’s looking to hear some “real, concrete plans about heritage preservation” from the candidates in the district.
“That’s what gets me excited,” he said.
Ames will be looking at the platforms of three candidates vying for the job in the district.
Incumbent Coun. Waye Mason is trying for his second term, up against former councillor Sue Uteck, who he beat in 2012 by just over 100 votes in a field of five candidates, and Dominick Desjardins, a Saint Mary’s University grad and member of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.
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