Federal Candidates Forum on Downtowns and Mainstreets

September 13/19
Federal Candidates Forum on Downtowns and Mainstreets


In anticipation of the upcoming federal election on October 21, 2019, six business improvement district (BID) associations in Halifax, in partnership with HFX Collective’s PRJCT CTZN, Neptune Theatre, PLANifax and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, hosted a Federal Candidates Forum on Monday, September 23, 6:00-8:00 pm, in Fountain Hall of Neptune Theatre, 1593 Argyle Street. The forum was moderated by Norma Lee MacLeod, consultant and former host of CBC’s “Maritime Noon,” with opening remarks by Mayor Mike Savage, representing the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The event was free and open to the public. For more details on the Federal Candidates Forum, visit www.downtownhalifax.ca/forum2019.

Federal candidates that were invited to participate (in alphabetical order):

Dartmouth-Cole Harbour candidates

Halifax candidates                          

“We needed to have a strong voice on national issues in front of the federal candidates,” said Paul MacKinnon, DHBC Executive Director. “Collectively, the six BIDs and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce represent over half of the businesses in the city. It was important to bring focus to the issues that affect the business community.”

Downtowns, main streets, and traditional commercial neighbourhoods are the economic, physical, social, and cultural hubs of Canada's cities and towns. Their strength is directly tied to the success of a community, their region, and Canada. The National Network of IDA Canada (International Downtown Association – Canada) represents over 500 business improvement associations, districts, zones, and societés des commerce, which are comprised of over 100,000 businesses from coast to coast, with a combined property assessment in the billions of dollars. For this reason, the National Network is asking all federal parties to ensure their platforms demonstrate the means by which these commercial hubs are appealing, prosperous, balanced, and dynamic. For more information, see IDA Canada’s media release and supporting document, ONE NATIONAL VOICE: An Urban Agenda 2019.

The organizations that have partnered to present the forum include: Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Halifax Chamber of Commerce, HFX Collective’s PRJCT CTZN, Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association, Neptune Theatre, North End Business Association, PLANifax, Spring Garden Area Business Association, and The Village on Main: Main Street Dartmouth Community Improvement District.

The forum gave candidates the opportunity to discuss and debate their views. The public can join the conversation by using the hashtag #BIDForum2019.

About Halifax Business Improvement Districts:

A business improvement district (BID) is a special assessment district where businesses join together to promote and improve the economic vitality of the area. The establishment of a BID provides a unique opportunity for business owners, and commercial property owners, to promote their mutual goals of creating safe, attractive and interesting commercial places aimed at stimulating business.