2021 Provincial Election: Questions Regarding Positions on Key Downtown Issues

August 09/21
2021 Provincial Election: Questions Regarding Positions on Key Downtown Issues


On July 30, 2021, Downtown Halifax Business Commission, with input from the other business improvement districts (BIDs) across the province, submitted five questions to the Liberal Party, Progressive Conservative Party, and New Democratic Party. These questions represent five top priorities for downtowns and main streets, as they seek to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, and revitalize themselves as the historic, cultural, and economic hearts of our communities.

We invite you, the businesses who are the backbone of the Nova Scotia economy, to read their answers. We urge you to ask these same questions when candidates knock on your doors. Ask for specifics and let them know that the business community does vote and deserves to have their issues front and center in this election. Consider which party most deserves your support.

Paul MacKinnon CEO, Downtown Halifax Business Commission


These questions were jointly submitted by the business improvement districts (BIDs) of Nova Scotia, representing over 4,000 businesses in our downtowns and main streets.

  1. Nova Scotia is seeing a rise in visible homelessness in our downtowns and main streets, as a result of many factors: mental health, joblessness, addictions, lack of affordable housing, lack of shelter space, etc. What will your government do to end homelessness, and what do you see as the solution for ensuring adequate affordable housing and supports?
  2. Nova Scotia’s downtowns and main streets have seen declines in customers, office workers, tourists event attendees, and students due to the pandemic. What investments and programs do you see as necessary to revitalize them?
  3. Many businesses have expressed that without federal support programs, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), they would not survive. As those programs wind down, do you have plans to supplement them with new provincial supports for impacted businesses/sectors (i.e., tourism, restaurant, hospitality)?
  4. The Ivany Report set a goal to double tourism revenues in the province. As travel resumes, what will you do to drive high-spend visitation into Nova Scotia from other provinces and internationally?
  5. Are you in favour of modernizing Nova Scotia’s alcohol policies, for instance to allow wet/dry stamps at public events, licensing some public parks, etc.?

For responses from the:

  • Liberal Party, click HERE.
  • Progressive Conservative Party, click HERE.
  •  New Democratic Party, click HERE.