Spring Garden Area Business Association

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Federal Candidates Forum on Downtowns

  • Neptune Theatre 1593 Argyle Street Halifax, NS, B3J 2B2 Canada (map)

As in previous years, SGABA is partnering with the other Halifax Business Improvement Districts to co-host an All Candidates Debate in the lead up to the Federal Election this October.

The debate will be focused on the "ONE NATIONAL VOICE" platform released by International Downtown Association Canada (IDA Canada), a product of conversations had with IDA members across Canada. In anticipation of the fall federal election, IDA Canada is looking to federal parties to ensure their platforms demonstrate the means by which commercial areas in cities and towns can become more socially balanced, economically energized, culturally dynamic and innovatively robust and environmentally sustainable and resilient. We are looking to our future federal government to work collaboratively to conduct more research of city and town centres and commercial areas to support the development of effective policies and programs focused on these areas. We are seeking a stronger collaboration with all three levels of government and the private sector to strengthen reinvestment in our urban cores. We are calling for enhanced engagement with our urban champions – those BIA/SDC leaders who deal with change every day on the streets and in their businesses – to identify where more effective partnerships can be established.

Five national issues were identified as being of greatest importance to all BIAs & SDCs (societies des commerce in Quebec) across Canada:

COMMUNITY WELL-BEING: For any community to thrive, it must ensure a healthy, stable and inclusive environment for residents and for businesses, co-existing in social and economic balance. This comes in the form of affordable housing, employment opportunities, food security, personal safety, and appropriate, sustainable and balanced taxes.

COMMUNITY VITALITY: Communities at their core are shaped by people and defined by a sense of place based on a vibrant public realm, historic character, arts and culture, and unique, street-level and neighbourhood-serving businesses.

URBAN MOBILITY: With the renewed strength of our urban centres – in which organizations and individuals are increasingly conscious of environmental impacts – innovative and well-designed transportation networks and affordable transit are key to the on-going viability of communities.

INFRASTRUCTURE: An efficient community is comprised of infrastructure which is kept in top condition; public spaces and parks which are well-designed and maintained; buildings which exude the character of the community and where environmental innovations are encouraged and supported.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: To support and sustain entrepreneurship, our communities need to provide start-up business support, create incubation incentives and develop urban cluster strategies, all in the context of heightened sustainability objectives.

Please plan to attend the ALL CANDIDATES DEBATE on September 23 to demonstrate your support for our downtowns, main streets, and small businesses, and hear what candidates have to say about them. Please also discuss these priorities with candidates. If you would like to read more about this call to action, visit IDA Canada.

Earlier Event: September 15
Switch HFX: Open Street Sunday
Later Event: September 27
TIMBER MART Heroes Challenge