By Richard Bell
Welcome to the Cooperator’s coverage of the October 17 election for HRM Council. In the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of interviewing eight candidates, 4 from District 1—Waverly-Fall River—Musquodoboit Valley, and 4 from District 2—Preston—Chezzetcook—Eastern Shore.
Note: You can find social media connections for all candidates on HRM's 2020 official candidates page.
Steve Streatch, Incumbent
Cathy Deagle Gammon
David Hendsbee, Incumbent
For those who worry about the future of democracy (a worry that is more than justified by what’s happening south of the border), the willingness of these candidates to step forward is encouraging. Both districts have incumbents of long standing, who can point to a range of accomplishments to demonstrate their ability to listen to peoples’ concerns and then make something happen.
But one of the glories of democracy is that every election gives motivated candidates a chance to offer the electorate something different. In these interviews, I have listened for ideas and life experiences that provide a little insight into what each of these candidates brings to the table.
The Covid-19 pandemic regulations have altered campaigning, but most candidates have been doing at least some door-to-door campaigning, while carefully observing the regulations about social distancing. Candidates reported that many voters were happy to see a candidate at the door and wanted to talk.
In terms of learning more about all the candidates, there is one significant difference between this year’s election and the last one in 2016, where I also interviewed all the candidates. There has been a dramatic increase in the use of the Internet, especially in the number of videos candidates are posting. In 2020, if you want to spend the time, you have the opportunity to see and hear the candidates in many more settings than 2016. And everyone has some presence on one or more of the social media platforms.
The HRM website has a convenient list of candidates with links to the websites and Facebook pages of the candidates, at: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/elections/official-candidates-2020-municipal-csap-election. Make sure to use the tool to confirm that you are registered to vote.
And if you want to know about the various options you now have for casting your ballot, then go to the “Information for Voters” page at: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/elections/information-voters. You can also call the Election Office at 902-490-8683, or email [email protected].