K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) – Adapting to COVID-19 has been challenging for all levels of government, though municipalities across Canada have been particularly burdened with response and recovery efforts.
The Ecology Action Centre commends the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) for the role they have played in responding to the crisis. The next challenge is our recovery. Throughout the ongoing budget deliberations, the EAC encourages the municipality to use their budget to invest in a just and green recovery that will increase the resiliency of local communities.
“The investments we make now will either propel our communities into maintaining quality of life for all residents, or re-enforce the status quo and lock HRM into a future that perpetuates climate change, inequality and deteriorates the health of our communities,” says Kelsey Lane, Sustainable Transportation Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre.
EAC's letter to HRM encourages municipal actions for a just and green recovery. The recommendations include improving active transportation and main streets, acquiring green space, and continuing support for electric buses and Bus Rapid Transit, strategies that will be deliberated today during HRM’s Budget Committee.
The letter states that recovering from the impacts of the pandemic and the associated economic downturn, while preparing ourselves for the future climate crisis, will require transformative change from every level of society, including our municipal governments.
“The question we are all asking ourselves is how are we going to build back better? Every municipal budget decision is an answer to that question,” Lane says. “During this unprecedented time, this crisis has shown us the value of long-term investment that increases community health, equity and resilience; we hope HRM’s decisions propel us to a better future.”