This dashboard outlines the issues of importance to our member municipalities as Nova Scotians head to the polls on August 17, 2021.
Our Election Priorities
The government recently received various recommendations from the Affordable Housing Commission related to increasing the supply of affordable rental housing in Nova Scotia. NSFM, as the voice of municipalities, was not given a seat at the table. There are concerns the Commission will continue to act in an advisory capacity without proper municipal representation.
Question for the Candidate: Given that many of the Commission’s suggestions will have a significant impact on local government, how will you engage municipalities in a review of the recommendations prior to their potential implementation?
The environment is an issue of concern for residents across the province. Part of the solution will be requiring producers of plastics and other waste to be responsible for their end-of life management. NSFM has provided issue and stakeholder research to the government to help Nova Scotians join the 80% of Canadians who live in areas with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
Question for the Candidate: What plans do you have to expedite the introduction of EPR legislation, given the extent of research and stakeholder engagement that has already been completed?
As costs continue to increase for municipalities, having reliable revenue sources for emerging projects remains foremost on the priority list for many communities. For those regions that receive funding through the Municipal Financial Capacity Grant, the need for continued provincial support cannot be understated.
Question for the Candidate: Are you willing to increase the Municipal Finance Capacity Grant, frozen at 2015 levels, by $20 million over the next three years?
Increasing accessibility is a goal shared by municipalities across the province. Our members are concerned that the requirements laid out in the provincial Accessibility Act are accompanied by funding support.
Question for the Candidate: Will you cost share 50/50 in all municipal projects required to comply with the Accessibility Act, if those projects do not receive other funding?
Finally, municipalities need more than project-based funding. We require new revenue streams to continue to support communities on the ground. As the provincial government continues to see increased revenues from cannabis sales, Nova Scotia municipalities want to know if the government will commit to the spirit of the initial federal/provincial agreement and share those revenues.
Question for the Candidate: Will you commit to providing municipalities with a substantial share of the revenues generated by the sale of cannabis?
Our members have clearly identified adapting to the impacts of climate change as a significant issue. Independent research completed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) showed municipal costs associated with climate change to be higher in the Maritimes than anywhere else in Canada.
Question for the Candidate: How will you work with municipalities to update their Municipal Climate Change Action Plans (completed in 2013) and what funding and support will you provide to ensure local governments are prepared to mitigate and adapt to projected changes in our climate?
In addition to the above priorities, NSFM maintains five resolutions, which are selected by our members for a three year period. These represent the ongoing issues that face our membership, and offer what our members believe to be a path forward on each issue.
Open Letter to Provincial Party Leaders
NSFM has written a letter to each party leader, outlining our issues of concern and providing an opportunity to answer questions we have about their platform and how it relates to municipal concerns.