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News brief: Halifax Labour Council endorses municipal candidates

Jen Powley, challenging Waye Mason, at this year’s Labour Day event in Halifax. Photo Robert Devet

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The Halifax-Dartmouth and District Labour Council, representing most local unions in Halifax, is endorsing municipal candidates running in several districts of HRM. However, it is not endorsing any of the mayoral candidates.

“This is a really important time for us in the labour movement, as well as for our social movement allies. It is an opportunity for us to vote for a city council that reflects the goals and desires that we have for a more just and more progressive city, said Suzanne McNeil, president of the Labour Council at a virtual press conference earlier today.

Of the incumbent councillors who are reoffering Lisa Blackburn (district 14), Shawn Cleary (district 9), Lindell Smith (district 8) and Sam Austin (District 5) are getting the stamp of approval.

Nicole Johnson (district 2, challenging David Hendsbee), Becky Kent (district 3), Darryl Johnson (district 4), Jen Powley (district 7, challenging Waye Mason), Andrew Curran (district 10), Hannah Munday (district 11), Iona Stoddard (district 12, challenging Richard Zurawski), Pam Lovelace (district 13), and Jay Aaron Roy (district 15, challenging Paul Russell) also received Labour’s nod of approval.

No candidates in district 1 and 6 were endorsed. Tim Outhit was acclaimed in district 16.

No mayoral candidate met the Council’s criteria.

“We would like to see greater leadership from Halifax’s next mayor on issues such as definitively ending racist police practices, ending the practice of entering into expensive p3 public private partnerships, ending the wasteful and inefficient contracting out of municipal services to for-profit companies, taking a role to ensure real affordable housing is built in our city and many other issues,” said McNeil.

The endorsements are based on responses to a survey of all candidates by the council. 

Selecting these endorsed candidates isn’t an exact science, said McNeil. 

“We spoke with candidates, with folks in the community and with activist allies, just to get a sort of holistic picture,” said McNeil.

I challenged McNeil a bit on their endorsements. For instance, some of the endorsed current councillors voted for the introduction of UBER and Lyft, two companies well known for their utter disregard of workers.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion about this internally. We recognize that our endorsing a candidate doesn’t mean that we’re going to agree with everything that they’ve ever done, or that we expect them to be perfect,” McNeil said. “This is really about who we think we can talk with, who we can have a relationship with, and who we are mostly aligned with.”

See also: Judy Haiven: Meet your candidates – eight men and one woman

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  1. I think each citizen from adoescent on needs authentic mentorship in civic engagement and civic consciousness. Far too many of us are neutralized from civic engagement by the educational system and other social programs for children and youth that propagate the status quo to aspire to and effectively shape docility or indifference in most through natural indoctination processes called social development.

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