The candidates for councillor in District 1 (from left to right): Cathy Deagle Gammon, Stephen Kamperman, Steve Streatch, and Arthur Wamback.

District 1 — Waverley-Fall River-Musquodoboit Valley is one of the municipality’s largest, spanning the growing suburbia of Fall River to the farmers’ fields of the municipality’s most rural areas.

Following a redrawing of the district boundaries in 2012, Steve Streatch lost his seat to the other incumbent, Barry Dalrymple. Streatch got it back in 2016, and is running again in this election, facing three opponents in Cathy Deagle Gammon, Stephen Kamperman, and Arthur Wamback.

The Halifax Examiner posed the same five questions to every candidate in this fall’s election:

  • What should Halifax be doing to create more affordable and accessible housing?

  • Would you support a reduction of the Halifax Regional Police budget for fiscal 2021-2022? Why or why not?

  • Should Halifax require contractors to pay workers a living wage? Why or why not?

  • In response to the climate crisis, Halifax regional council passed an action plan, HalifACT 2050, in June. How will you support accomplishing the plan’s goals?

  • How often do you use Halifax Transit?

We’re printing the candidates’ responses unedited, in full.

Election day is Saturday, Oct. 17, but you can vote online or by telephone between Oct. 6 and 14 or in advanced polls on Oct. 10 and 13. You can check to see if you’re on the voters’ list here. Not sure which district you’re in? Type your address into the map below to find out.

Click the candidate’s name to jump to their answers, or keep scrolling to see them all:
Cathy Deagle Gammon

Stephen Kamperman

Steve Streatch

Arthur Wamback


Cathy Deagle Gammon

(cathydistrict1.ca)

What should Halifax be doing to create more affordable and accessible housing?

  • Halifax needs to continue to build on the Housing and Homelessness Partnership which had a goal of 5000 units over 5 years (2016/2018 amendment was adopted.) Resulting in the Affordable Housing Work Plan. The next step is an ACTION PLAN – who is responsible (is there a dedicated staff assigned rather than a department) who does what, when and where is the accountability. Each year an evaluation of the ACTION PLAN and adding in a future year is essential to meeting and extending the targets to meet our community need. This can only be successful in partnership with all three levels of government and community organizations working collaboratively. 
  • This is an issue that crosses all government departments and government strategies and can be supported by agencies such as The United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Housing NS, Dept Community Services and the list goes on. 
  • We need to minimize Legislative and Regulatory barriers to secondary suites, back yard suites and Tiny Homes as alternate options for affordable housing. 
  • Halifax can incentivise with rent supplements, new down payment assistance programs, home renovation assistance programs for accessibility and in new development incentives for universal design. 
  • Halifax needs to re- examine the ‘buy out’ option for new developers on the requirement for the inclusion of affordable housing. One huge problem I see is the loophole HRM has allowed developers to step through by providing cash to a fund for eventual housing and not enforcing the need for these units in the plethora of buildings currently going up right now. Reality is the areas currently in development are those attached to services, bus routes and jobs and it doesn’t matter how much money is in the coffers 10 years from now if the only available space is on the outskirts of the city, we will segregating those who need affordable accessible housing from the keys to their success.
  • Regional Councils can play a more significant role in understanding the housing needs in their district, what is available, where are the gaps, work with HRM dedicated staff and engage the public in building community capacity. 
  • Universal Design enables us to be an Age Friendly Community, an Accessible Community and Barrier Free which supports all of HRM. 

Would you support a reduction of the Halifax Regional Police budget for fiscal 2021-2022? Why or why not?

  • I would support a review of the Police Budget –I am aware that my knowledge is not enough to evaluate the impact of a reduction in the police budget. 
  • I have read the Wortley Report and strongly endorse the acceptance and recommendations – with emphasis on the final list 4.1 to 4.17 on Improving Police Community Relations. 
  • There is great concern in our community that Halifax Regional Police are asked to perform duties that exceed their training and there is a significant need to augment with mental health workers, social supports etc.  
  • District1 is talking loud and clear about the absence of a Police presence at times when we need it most. 
  • The relationship between the HRP and the RCMP could also be better communicated and perhaps a review is now in order.   

Should Halifax require contractors to pay workers a living wage? Why or why not?

  • The key phrase here – “contractors” and I would like to know who is typically in this category. 
  • With that said:  I would agree that governments can lead by paying a living wage and having a social policy that supports contracts to do the same.  
  • There is a challenge here in that many small and even medium business have little room to pay a living wage which in Halifax is $21.80
  • If we wish to break the circle of poverty, then wage rates are one component of a broader solution. There must be collaboration within all levels of government, a commitment from employers, advocacy groups working with governments to be creative in solutions to affordable housing, child care, access to transit and alternate educational opportunities for upgrading and skill acquisition.    

In response to the climate crisis, Halifax regional council passed an action plan, HalifACT 2050, in June. How will you support accomplishing the plan’s goals?

  • HalifACT 2050 is am ambitious and achievable plan if appropriately resourced. Due to budget cuts associated with COVID19 the original 30 positions required to implement the plan are reduced to three new hires and a reallocation of staff or added responsibilities to current staff.  
  • The priority should be on investigating the availability of provincial and federal financing and programs, opportunities for secondments and community sector partnerships.  

How often do you use Halifax Transit? 

  • I do not use Halifax Transit as I live in District1 Fall River area and we are not within the transit boundary. The Airport Bus does not travel at the times convenient for my work schedule. 
  • I do however use the Ferry Service on occasion when going to the city for social, cultural and recreational activities. 


Stephen Kamperman

(facebook.com/stephen.kamperman)

What should Halifax be doing to create more affordable and accessible housing?

I’m really happy that the HRM council approved the secondary suites. I also think they should go another step and help with a forgivable grant or small interest loan to make it so residents will be able to qualify and not have it so the rules make it almost impossible to get either of the programs. We will also need to have a rent increase cap with a maximum of 2 percent per year.this will help solve our affordable housing crises.

Would you support a reduction of the Halifax Regional Police budget for fiscal 2021-2022? Why or why not?

I would like to see a reallocation for the police budget. The reason for this is I think they are already stretched thin in so many areas,  on the campaign trail the major issue in every small community is speeding and not a presence of police. Residents have made it very clear they want more policing in our communities. Especially in the light of the tragic shootings that we experienced recently. We need to support our first responders as this topic has been at the forefront of the news . If they could do more education on mental health within their department or even had 1 or 2 officers per shift  per department which are specialized in dealing with these situations hopefully the residents can feel and be safe and police can go home every night safely to their families.

Should Halifax require contractors to pay workers a living wage? Why or why not?

Everyone wants to have a living wage and not worry about making ends meet. I would like to see this as when you are paying a living wage as I’m aware as a business owner, your employees seem to be more respectful with their work environment as they aren’t worried about which bill to pay.  As contractors they should be looking out for not only their employer but they need to be looking out for their employees as well.  Some might say that a living wage will drive costs up and destroy businesses. However i think it does the opposite, people who earn a living wage, actually spend more money in their communities, which in turn helps local business owners, who have increased business so they are able to pay a living wage. It’s a cycle that helps build a stronger community, instead of having people move away to a bigger city to get a bigger wage. I am not aware of any studies where a living wage has destroyed businesses, However, we do read daily about the crushing debt of the working poor, and the social costs that come from poverty, especially in terms of health costs.

In response to the climate crisis, Halifax regional council passed an action plan, HalifACT 2050, in June. How will you support accomplishing the plan’s goals?

This is a great goal! I’m excited to be part of this and trying to achieve some of the actions in my district. I’m a huge believer in transit and we need to stop having only one foot in 

We need to lead in this category and focus on being reliable and efficient transit. Making our roadways not only made for vehicle transportation, every new road or old road that’s getting refurbished should be made for cyclists and walkers as well. Solar seems to be starting to catch on and we’re starting to see more residents jump on board so hopefully we can continue with those existing programs. I look out everyday and see four wind turbines from my home and i just love seeing them turn and making clean energy, if we could expand wind and solar energy  in safe zones in our districts we should mandate all new energy should come from renewable clean energy

How often do you use Halifax Transit?

I haven’t used transit since I lived in an apartment in halifax. I live out in Grand Lake and work in Fall River 

Its my goal if elected to see Halifax transit have a corridor loop that services Enfield to Waverley and connect to the Fall River and Sackville transit stations.

These transit services are important for people who can’t drive, for example some seniors, it may be their only means of getting to appointments and shopping. This also means that people who cant drive are still able to live independent in their rural homes , when good connections and regular schedules are in place, more people will use them 


Steve Streatch

(stevestreatch.com)

What should Halifax be doing to create more affordable and accessible housing?

HRM has recently moved further in the direction of social issuses such as housing. We have an ask into the Province for greater authority, and have started to encourage developers to provide affordable units, and recently passed a bylaw which now allows secondary suites on existing lots. We also should encourage residents to move to areas of HRM where housing options and affordability are more plentiful in some of rural communities, like the Musquodoboit Valley. 

Would you support a reduction of the Halifax Regional Police budget for fiscal 2021-2022? Why or why not?

During our recent budget debate, Council did reduce the Police budget; to reduce further without the results of our recently commissioned police study would be premature, and potentially risk public safety. It is hard to answer a hypothetical question without all the details. 

Should Halifax require contractors to pay workers a living wage? Why or why not?

A living wage is a philosophy I support, and HRM should encourage our contractors to move in that direction, but I don’t think we should require it. Doing so may inadvertently have a negative impact on our bottom line, and the taxpayers during these difficult times. 

In response to the climate crisis, Halifax regional council passed an action plan, HalifACT 2050, in June. How will you support accomplishing the plan’s goals?

As a member of Council, and one who supported moving forward with HalifACT2050, I will encourage decisions of Council to keep the objectives of this plan in mind as we make most decisions. Supporting initiatives like electric busses and district energy projects. 

How often do you use Halifax Transit?

I have only been on transit a couple of times, but want to change that, and the options in my district by bringing transit into the Fall River area. This will require a serviceable boundary change, which I will be pursuing. 


Arthur Wamback

(wamback.ca)

What should Halifax be doing to create more affordable and accessible housing?

HRM should be actioning or influencing several initiatives that would create more affordable and accessible housing. Some areas to be considered are:

  • Establish affordable Housing Targets; plans which establish specific targets to increase affordable housing supply at the municipal and neighborhood levels. This will assist in determining whether current policies are adequate and effective, or additional policy changes are warranted.
  • Establish a density bonus system that would allow higher densities and greater heights than zoning codes typically allow in exchange for more affordable housing units. This would support compact, affordable, infill development while avoiding land value increases that would result if increased density were allowed for higher-priced housing units.
  • Establish a fee and tax system to favor affordable/accessible development. Development fees, taxes, and utility rates can be structured to provide discounts or exemptions for smaller and cheaper units, and compact, infill development. Discounts and exemptions can be offered for affordable housing, similar to lower tax rates for heritage buildings and seniors.
  • Improve design process, opposition to infill development often reflects unhappiness with design as much as with density. HRM can support design contests, planning workshops, and community involvement to help develop more pleasing designs.
  • Establish affordable housing maintenance and rehabilitation programs. There exists a stock of affordable housing, unfortunately, some of which is poorly maintained and is becoming uninhabitable. Targeted assistance programs can help maintain and restore this stock. This can include support for elderly residents on fixed incomes, and owners of older, low-priced apartment buildings
  • Expedite the development review process for affordable housing to reduce their costs and make such projects more attractive to developers.
  • Establish more favorable tax policies. A variety of taxes and fees are applied to housing development, including sales taxes on land, materials, and services, development fees; building permit fees; utility connection fees; and property taxes. Many of these fees can be reduced or eliminated for qualifying affordable housing.

Would you support a reduction of the Halifax Regional Police budget for fiscal 2021-2022? Why or why not?

I do not believe that a reduction of the HRP budget for FY 21/22 is in the best interest of the Municipality. A move to expedite a budget reduction for the HRP without a balanced study and consideration can lead to unforeseen consequences. I support the review of the role of police agencies in HRM. Following this study, if it is determined to be in the best interests of all that some services currently assigned to the HRP be reallocated to other entities, then the appropriate level of HRP funding should be reallocated to support that move.

Should Halifax require contractors to pay workers a living wage? Why or why not?

I believe contractors should pay their workers a living wage. Paying a living wage is an investment – an investment towards a robust local economy and a healthy community. Paying a living wage can lead to improved productivity, increased employee loyalty, and decreased costs associated with absent staff, training, and recruitment. Earning a living wage provides income to cover modest living expenses and can reduce financial stress. This can lead to improved health, improved morale at work, increased support for healthy child growth and development, reduced barriers to social inclusion, and an overall improvement in the quality of life for workers and their families. Additionally, a living wage can support residents in being healthier, happier, and more engaged members of society. A living wage can lead to increased consumer buying power, which will help grow the local economy.

In response to the climate crisis, Halifax regional council passed an action plan, HalifACT 2050, in June. How will you support accomplishing the plan’s goals?

I agree with and support the direction contained in the HalifACT 2050: Acting on Climate Together plan. Additionally, I concur that immediate action is critical to a successful outcome, and will support efforts acting initially on the seven key areas, namely:

  •           Retrofit and renewable energy programming
  •           Retrofit municipal buildings to be net-zero ready and climate-resilient
  •           Electrification of transportation
  •           Net-zero standards for new buildings
  •           Risk and vulnerability assessments
  •           Capacity building for climate adaptation
  •           Sustainable financing strategy

How often do you use Halifax Transit?

Having recently retired from active service, I do not utilize Halifax Transit as much as in my youth or service career. I do use public transit for longer trips to the city and enjoy using the ferry. Unfortunately, my District is poorly served by the current Halifax Transit system, a priority platform item of mine to improve if provided the opportunity to represent the District following the election.


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Zane Woodford

Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

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  1. Have a municipal gas tax like Montreal, Vancouver and Victoria. Increase it by 1c/L/year to pay for transit/green initiatives. Good to start now while gas is cheap.