Archive for May, 2012

Hello fellow citizens!

    I am happy to be part of the race for District 5 – Dartmouth Centre.   In the effort of transparency, all my campaign contributions will be disclosed–not just amounts over $50 as required but any amount.

I am currently working on my platform and it will be released in the coming weeks.   Issues that I wish to address are

Public Transit

Sustainable Communities

Community Safety/Crime

Environmental Stewardship

Regional Development

Support for Active Transportation

Healthy Citizens/Communities

This are the areas in which, I wish to address key issues.  These areas are important factors in making Dartmouth Centre and our city a more vibrant, diverse place!

October 20, Vote Bryn for District 5- Dartmouth Centre.

  

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

City Councillor McCluskey had suggested that privatizing the harbour ferry service is an option instead of  cutting some late-night runs. Gloria McCluskey is quoted in the Chronicle Herald article as saying:

“But if they’re closing the ferry off early, I’d certainly stand up and make a motion to sell it,” McCluskey said Wednesday. “Sell it to somebody who will operate it the way it should be operated.”

Firstly, I find Mrs. McCluskey’s proposition not well thought out.  I am pro-labour and pro-community and I firmly believe that privatizing the harbour ferries would be harmful to HRM.   The harbour ferry has operated in our wonderful city since 1752, and until 1955 was the only quick, efficient way to connect Dartmouth to Halifax.  Nostalgia aside, the harbour ferries still provide a valuable service in transporting citizens between the downtowns of Dartmouth and Halifax.   Metro transit, via passenger standards set by the council itself, was looking to reduce ferry crossings.  While I accept the fact that we need to look at the demand for late night ferry services, privatizing the ferry service should not be considered an option.    The fact of the matter is that if ferries were privatized, the service would not look like what we have become accustomed to:

1. Fares would increase

2. Service would be reduced.

3. Loss of good wages for workers

4. Loss of benefit in the local economy due to lower wages/jobs

One has to simply look to the new MetroX to the airport, with a fare of 3.25 per trip versus the rate of the Airporter bus service at a whopping 19.50 fare one way and $36 return.   A private company would need to have a ferry fare that would make it profitable for them.  Additionally, due to demand for service, it is certain that the schedule of the harbour would be reduced because late-night crossing would not prove profitable.  There are countless examples where a public service has been privatized, and that the bottom line has become the priority.  We can look to the privatization of Nova Scotia Power as an example, where additional costs have been passed down to the customer base.   Also, if the service was privatized our community would lose some good paying jobs: we must always consider the human factor in our government decisions.  We are on the verge of loosing jobs due to the sale of the Imperial Oil refinery.  We are loosing jobs due to federal cuts, and at the provincial level due to decentralization.   We must ask ourselves do we want a council that takes away jobs, and reduces people’s incomes.  The answer is no: it is time that we elect people who will stand up for families, students, youth and everyone in our community.  It is possible to have a healthy, strong community and a financial responsible government: the two are not mutually exclusive.

We do need to look at service levels and address inefficiencies in a system that is publicly funded. However, we must be proactive, not reactive.   When the ferry system was run by the former City of Dartmouth, there were times during the year that the ferry did not run on Sundays.   We as local government and as community stakeholders must come together to discuss a solution that addresses everyone’s concerns.   We need to consider the long term implications of the centre plan, and how that can increase density within the downtown cores.  Possible solutions could be:

1) Approaching businesses within the downtown cores of Dartmouth and Halifax to aid in subsidizing ferry runs later at night

2) Consider service reductions on Sundays only

3) Consider focusing full ferry service from April 1 – Nov 30, with a reduced Sunday and late night service from Dec 1 – March 31

We must look at the big picture! Our current city government claims that they are for sustainable, public transit.  However, they continue to expand the city out and to build roads to encourage the continued dependence on cars.  What is the cost of supporting a public transit system versus the environmental impacts of more cars on the road.   We must develop policy and practices to further encourage active transportation and use of public transit.  Councillors are there to act in the best interest of all citizens, and taking away services or reducing services does not accomplish that mandate.

This is the time to take a stand, flex our democratic muscles and say enough is enough! On October 20th, we need a new council for HRM; a council that puts the issues of family, community, sustainable business and long-term environmental sustainability first.

On October 20th: Vote for an open, honest,citizen focused council! Vote Bryn for District 5 – Dartmouth Centre.

Referencing Article http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/metro/99428-mccluskey-floats-option-of-privatizing-ferry-service

Read Full Post »

I was born and raised in Dartmouth, even when I lived away for a brief time Dartmouth was still home to me.  I am 32 and son of Mary &Marty Jones.  My father is a sailor with the Royal Canadian Navy,my mother works in the public school system and I have two brothers.  Growing up, I lived in North Dartmouth and attended three wonderful public schools: Notting Park Elementary, Bicentennial Junior High and Dartmouth High School.  Past public school, I attended NSCC-Akerely and earned a diploma in Culinary Arts.  Presently, I live in Woodside at Maplehurst where I live with my fiance Anthony.   I work as a professional chef in Halifax, and I enjoy providing healthy, nutritious meals to everyone I serve.

From my parents, I learned a strong sense of community pride and wanting to give back to your community.   From my early involvement in the public music program on ward; I have always had a keen interest in community volunteering.  I believe that immersing one’s self in your community is a spectacular way to show your concern and empathy for others.   As an adult I have been involved with:

Canadian Cancer Society

Kids Help Phone

Halifax Pride Committee

St.John’s Pride Committee

Canadian Forces Halifax “Rocks the Hill”

International Fleet Week & Review – Canadian Naval Centennial

Katimavik

Health Promotion – CFB Halifax

Additionally, I am in consideration for a volunteer position with the Dartmouth Community Health Board.

As long as I can remember,  I have always had a strong interest in politics.  As a teen, I could not wait till I was able to vote.  I still remember in my final year of high school, when Wendy Lill came to speak to us.  She was at the time our MP, and even to today I remember how inspired I felt by her.  I have always voted in every election; even municipal because I feel to have a voice you need to participate in the democratic process.  Our system of government is built on the hope that people care enough to get involved.   It is a civic duty, nay moral obligation to vote and be aware of what are governments are doing or not. 

Since my mid twenty’s, the idea of running as a candidate in a campaign has always been in the background.  I have followed politics, educated myself and always made sure that I was connected: to people, perspectives and to ideas. I believe that we can make District 5 and in term our city a more diverse, vibrant and welcoming place.   With fresh perspectives, collaboration and determination Halifax can be the city of choice for our youth, our working
class, our seniors and for people coming to Canada.

I am entering the race for councillor of District 5 – Dartmouth Centre because I want to bring accountability back to city government.   I want to bring city hall to the people, to insure that everyone knows what regional council is doing.  I want to help make Dartmouth Centre and our city even better than they already are.   We will accomplish this by engaging our citizens in our democratic process. We will ensure this by showing genuine concern for each other.  We will enable this by being honest, open and transparent.  No government needs to be secretive, secluded or afraid of opposition or propositions.

We can have a better Dartmouth!

We can have a strong, diverse city!

We can have a progressive, open government.

If you believe in fairness, equality and honest: on October 20, 2012 Vote Bryn for Dartmouth Centre!

 

Read Full Post »

On October 20, we as citizens of our beautiful region have the chance to make change in our municipal government.  We have the opportunity to elect officials that will act and work for the best interest of all people.

It is a time to voice our democratic right, and communicate to our government that a change is needed.  At work, in the malls, parks, coffee houses we hear of desire for change and to have a government that puts the interests of our beautiful city and its’ people above all else.    It is not simply enough to be in opposition to our city government.  We as residents must change our opposition to proposition, as the late Jack Layton wrote.   Dartmouth Centre is a vibrant, wonderful district: full of a wonderful mix of diverse, creative citizens.  I want to make Dartmouth Centre an even more desired place to live, and in turn make our municipality the best that it can be.

“I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you…And you…And you…Gotta give em hope.” – Harvey Milk

In a city where council let’s a motion die that would have aided to create more openness and transparency in democratic process, it is time for a change.   In a city council, that how a councillor votes is only recorded if council motions for it to be so, we need a new approach.

As councillor for Dartmouth Centre- District Five, I would work for our district and for the greater good of our municipality.  Firstly, I would motion for a more open, democratic and less secretive government. I would ensure that I am working for you in Dartmouth Centre to address issues of local significance and also support progressive, innovative ideas to move our city forward.   Government is for the people, and should be by the people!

I believe government should be accessible to the people! I would foster my belief by:

  1. Monthly town hall meetings in our district of Dartmouth Centre
  2. A weekly e-newsletter to highlight government business and district concerns and evens
  3. Social Media Communication via Twitter: @BrynDartCentre, Facebook and my blog bryndartcentre.wordpress.com
  4. District Profile on Halifax.ca’s site, current and up to date
  5. Quarterly print newsletter mailed to citizens of Dartmouth Centre
  6. Bi-weekly visits to district citizens that were unable to attend town hall meetings, i.e. nursing homes and other institutions.

Democracy is about access, information and engagement! We need to once and again trust and have hope in our city government.   Help us elect a new voice for Dartmouth Centre! If you would like to contribute to our campaign financially or by volunteering please contact us at bryndartmouthcentre@bellaliant.net  on twitter @BrynDartCentre  By Text (902) 448-9233

On facebook: facebook.com/bryndartcentre.

On October 20 Vote Bryn for District 5- Dartmouth Centre

Read Full Post »

In the last municipal election voter turn out was at 37%, that means that 63% of our citizens choose not to vote.  This stat is alarming to me, when more than half of citizens in any jurisdiction decide not to vote: when need to ask why is this happening?   Why collectively do we feel so apathetic and disengaged from the political process? Have we come to a point in a our history where we feel hopeless with our political process?   I believe that while there are issues with a political process, we can make a difference by getting involved.   Being involved means being involved in both the democratic process and the community at large.  It is perfectly acceptable to get angry about government procedure:   we are fatigued by rhetoric, broken promises and dishonesty.   However, from anger must come action; if all we create from our anger is opposition instead of proposition we too are failing the system.

We all have busy lives: families, our occupations, and our 21st century life–distractions are abound.  It is easy and understandable that as individuals we feel overwhelmed and powerless to make change.  Respectfully, I view that perspective as a barrier to make change in our democratic process.   We are at a place where we the people must challenge our anger into positive change.  There is a shift that is happening with grass-roots community groups.  At the community and municipal level we can be a bastion of ideas and change to better the lives of everyone.   So, how do we create interest in the political process again?  People, I feel are angry and annoyed with the process because they do not feel part of it.    Yes, there are opportunities to be gain information on council process; however we all have busy lives.  Sometimes, we may feel that it is a burden to go to where the decision-making is happening.   Also, people may feel that the information is not accessible or not accessible in a manner they can easily access.

It is as it’s a perfect storm of ‘I said- they said’, there are responsibilities on both sides to be acknowledged.  That being said, I feel that as an elected official, this individual would have the innate responsibility to bring the democratic process to the people. We need to do a better job of delivering information to people.  Knowledge is power though if one does not know how to access or utilize the knowledge it is useless.   One way that government can do better is be more accountable and transparent.  Currently, in our municipal votes are only recorded if council asks them to be.   This has the potential to create a barrier to the electorate being abreast of what direction city council is going.   I am committed to bringing democracy and the municipal back to the people.  I believe that democracy works best when both the elected officials, citizens and bureaucrats are all engaged.    As councillor for District Five I would :

-Request every vote in council be recorded for the public.  I would motion that how each councillor voted by recorded and made public as well.

-A Strong informational presence: social media, e-newsletter, mailed newsletter

-Prompt replies to citizens. I am working for you and if I don’t know an answer, I would work hard to find it for you.

-Monthly town hall meetings in District Five.  These would be used to bring council to the people.  I would provide copies of previous approved council minutes, upcoming agenda’s if available and a forum for citizens to voice their concerns.

 

It is time for a change, for a new voice in Dartmouth Centre.  We need a councillor who is open, progressive, tuned in and accountable.  I love Dartmouth, I was born and raised here. I have a passion for Dartmouth, and for our Halifax Region.   On October 20, 2012 Vote Bryn for District Five- Dartmouth Centre.

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

My name is Bryn Jones-Vaillancourt, and I am running for the position of councillor for District Five – Dartmouth Centre.    Presently, I am a professional chef and I enjoy cooking and all its applications.  However, my other huge passion has always been politics and community involvement.   I have since my early twenties had a keen interest in running for public office, and finally I feel that the timing is right.  I feel that I have the insight, maturity and compassion to be beneficial as an elected official.

I am 32, and I have lived the majority of my life in Dartmouth.   I love Dartmouth, it is a wonderful community to live and work in.  We have beautiful parks, amazing recreation facilities and most important caring, engaged citizens.     I believe that we are at a time in our city’s history of governance that we need a shift.   We need a council that will be open, honest and accountable.  We need a council that benefits both individual districts and the municipality as a whole.  We need a council that is engaged in both the districts that they serve, and the democratic process that we all value so much.

I strongly believe in giving back to the our community.  I have always been active in various community groups:

Canadian Cancer Society

Halifax Pride Committee

St. John’s Pride

Kids Help Phone

Royal Canadian Cadet Corps #1 Nelson

Canadian Forces Rocks the Hill

International Fleet Week Review & Royal Canadian Naval Centennial

CFB Halifax – Health Promotion

Katimavik – Halifax Site

 

I look forward to a wonderful campaign of information, ideas and engagement with my fellow candidates and citizens of Dartmouth Centre.

Read Full Post »