In the weeks leading up to the Oct. 20 municipal election, The Weekly News will be profiling the districts that matter to our readers. Every available candidate will be given a chance to share his or her vision for the district and HRM.
District 9 - Peninsula West - Armdale : Bordering Northwest Arm Drive, William's Lake and St. Margaret's Bay Road in the south and Fairview Cemetery in the north Peninsula West is a bit of an awkwardly drawn district. The Armdale Roundabout at its center only exemplifies one of the district's biggest issues — traffic. With proposals to widen some roads and increase density, the next HRM council will have to determine how it handles congestion.
Linda Mosher (incumbent):
Linda Mosher has lived in the district for most of her life, having grown up in the Fleming Heights area before moving to the Armdale area. She has a bachelor of commerce and a certificate of municipal governing from Dalhousie. Before being elected to council Mosher was in sales and marketing, primarily for healthcare. Mosher is a third degree black belt in Taekwondo and has been active in the sport for the last 15 years. She is also a volunteer instructor and coach.
"I want to continue working with residents, to continue making positive contributions to our quality of life," Mosher said, who lives within the new District 9. "I think these communities have similar issues and concerns and it's the best district for me to run in."
"I would like council to focus on broad policy issues that affect the entire municipality and for local community councils to deal with local community issues," Mosher said. "For example, water and sewage extension for a community such as Beaver Bank, it'll come to council and there will be a public hearing but the municipality doesn't extend any funds and it's a local issue, the entire council doesn't have to hear that issue."
Mosher also said that council needs a strong mayor in order to eliminate redundancies, and to have a more focused debate.
"Most of the access points of the peninsula will go through this district and the district is continuing to experience downstream effects from growth outside the urban core," Mosher said when asked about the growing traffic problem. "Many people live on the peninsula due to the fact that they may not need a car, they can use public transportation and access amenities easily, but then you have all of this traffic coming in and shortcutting through neighbourhoods, increasing the burden on existing communities."
Mosher said one of the solutions to this is a better integrated Metro Transit with more express routes.
"For public transportation to work it's got to be accessible and it's got to be efficient and attractive compared to taking your own vehicle," Mosher said.
Mosher also said she would also like to see the municipality implement more bike lanes and sidewalks to reduce the number of cars and promote active transportation.
Richard MacLean is a lifelong resident of Halifax. He and his wife Cora have a four-year-old daughter, and MacLean has a 13-year-old son. MacLean earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Saint Mary's University and a Masters of Education Degree from Mount Saint Vincent University in Educational Leadership. MacLean also has a Graduate Certificate in Mediation, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Saint Mary's University and a Graduate Diploma in Technology Education from Cape Breton University. He is a currently a teacher with the Halifax Regional School Board at the Flexible Learning and Education Centre where he teaches high school credits to young adults wanting to complete their high school education. MacLean is also an entrepreneur and small business owner.
"I've been following politics my whole life and I really feel that the events over the past few years have shown that council is ineffective, broken and not a cohesive unit," MacLean said. "I couldn't sit by any longer and complain without taking some action so around January when the new boundaries were announced, I looked at them and decided to throw my hat in the ring."
"I'd like to see council be a lot more open, starting by having no in-camera sessions unless they're personal or legal matters," he said. Closed-door meetings have been an ongoing controversial issue.
"As it stands now they're deferring to in-camera for almost every issue they talk about that could be contentious," MacLean said. "I think that's really problematic and I want my residents to know how I feel, and how I'm voting, what my opinions are and I don't want to be deferring to in-camera sessions."
MacLean also said he would like to see more teambuilding taking place at council.
"Not just start business-as-usual, but we need to come together as a group and determine where we want to get to as a city," he said. "I don't see that happening in the current council and I think that's something we desperately need to see change in order to make Halifax work."
MacLean said he would like to see more development focus on the peninsula rather than urban sprawl continuing out into the suburbs. He said Halifax has lots of empty space that needs to be filled before expansion is required.
"I don't want to see us widening roads to put more automobiles on the road," MacLean said. "I want to see us look at transit options and active transit options, certainly not just widening of roads for the sake of an automobile to drive faster through our district."