From what we gather, the only thing now standing in the way of work beginning on the new downtown convention centre is city council. And that could change by tomorrow. The Dexter cabinet stamped its okay on a lease with the developer Thursday and a memorandum of agreement will go before council at Tuesday's session. No one on council has yet seen the agreement and some, like Jennifer Watts, are wondering how much more money this might cost the city. We're already in for $56 million. If there's much of a change, it could be a problem. The details of the deal will be posted at some point today on the city's website at halifax.ca. If council gives its blessing, work on the site could start within weeks.
We should know exactly how much each and every city hall staff member earns each year, but we don't, even though they're paid out of the taxpayers purse. Outside of the mayor, councillors and the city's CAO, we can only give you a salary range for other non-union employees. This past winter Councillor Jackie Barkhouse got council support for a staff report on making the salaries of all city senior employees public each year. That report goes to council tomorrow outlining council's options, everything from requesting consent of disclosure to ordering it. Stay tuned.
It was a great idea, but the city's solar energy program is about to have the plug pulled. The Solar City project was a pilot program to allow city residents to purchase solar panels through their annual taxes. The panels would be used to heat water. There was keen interest in the program but what are described as project barriers now have staff recommending to city council the program be dropped. The biggest barrier was financing. City hall's efforts to get money from a Federation of Canadian Municipalities fund failed. Pity, like I said, it was a great idea.
It wasn't quite a miracle, but still it was remarkable a young boy fell 3 stories from a city apartment Saturday and survived with only minor scrapes and bruising. We don't know much of what happened, but police say no charges will be laid. I do understand Children's Services was called, The boy was 3.
And a group of Calgary elementary school students is doing their part to save the Peggy's Cove lighthouse. They've been studying the lighthouse during social studies class and learned of its possible demise so they've launched a campaign to save it including sending letters to CTV in Halifax. These kids are 8 years old. One writes, "If you destroyed this lighthouse, all of the great memories will be lost." Hear! Hear! Perhaps this effort by this group of western school students will be the impetus to convince school kids here on the east coast to join in. Good to see some activism at such a young age.
Have a great day. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.