Mayoral Candidates Talk Student Issues



On September 28th at Dalhousie University, candidates for councilor from districts 7, 8 and 9 attended a fair for students to talk to them about student issues. Following the fair, there was a debate on student issues between the two candidates for Mayor, Lil Macpherson and Mike Savage. Despite a meager turnout of approximately 50 students, the candidates remained enthusiastic.

A striking thing about the candidates throughout the evening was that they seemed to agree on many of the key issues facing students, such as food security and making transportation better for students.

Each candidate suggested their own reason for running for mayor, Lil MacPherson is passionate and an active player in the world for addressing climate change, having attended a series of conferences, notably Copenhagen and Paris. As owner of the Wooden Monkey restaurant, environmentalism and food security are part of her main focus.

“I asked a farmer how long we could last on just the food in our province if we were cut off from the world, they told me just three days.” MacPherson commented in her introduction at the debate.

Mike Savage is seeking re-election after serving one term as mayor. Prior to being mayor he was a Member of Parliament for the Dartmouth-Cole Harbour riding. He recalls his committee work focusing on student issues with the government, and considers Halifax an education town.

Both candidates touted their record on the environment. Savage cited Halifax receiving the ‘Green Champion Award’ from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in 2015, which is awarded to the greenest municipality in Canada each year. Part of this he credits to the success of the ‘Solar City’ project.

MacPherson Proposed a ‘No Coal’ policy, and making better use of green power in the city. She mentioned the BMO centre out in Bedford as an example of a facility producing green power that is going to waste. 75% of the power that is currently produced there is going to waste, she encourages facilitating the sale of this excess energy to nearby residents, schools and businesses to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

The candidates elaborated on food security, housing security and First Nations relations to name a few, to view the whole debate go to this address. (

By Neil Van Horne

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