Over the past few weeks I have been inspired while out on the campaign trail with my father, Don Smeltzer, who is running for Municipal Council for District 6 in Dartmouth, http://www.donsmeltzer.ca. Some of the main issues that have been brought to the table by constituents are three challenges for the municipality that I am very passionate about:
- Employment opportunities in the province/municipality
- Efficient and affordable transportation
- Affordable housing
Employment opportunities in Halifax and the rest of the province, is a major issue that municipal government cannot tackle on its own, but municipal council can help support the conversation by working with local businesses and the province to begin to make a difference. We as a community need to work together to support local business, build prosperity and create new jobs for everyone in the community. Part of this is creating a business climate that entices larger businesses to relocate and/or stay in Halifax. Small business and entrepreneurship helps with the challenge but is not the only answer, and large business and the arts play a role in keeping Halifax competitive.
In fact all of these challenges can be helped by increasing employment opportunities in the municipality. By fostering an environment where business and property taxes are kept competitive and office growth and housing is focused in the urban core, transportation costs can be decreased and public transportation can be improved for the city residents. We need a passionate group of people running the municipality and working in the best interests of the constituents. There are no simple answers but if important challenges are addressed in a thoughtful manner things will improve for residents.
One company that is doing its best to help address the employment opportunities in the city and making a difference is SimplyCast. It was founded by a contact/friends of mine, Saeed El-Darahali. His passion for business has created a successful email/marketing automation solution with clients around the world. In addition to creating a successful business he has worked to provide competitive jobs to recent graduates. Allowing people who may have moved from the province in search of work to build a live where they grew up. If more companies worked with the city and provincial government to create opportunities the business climate in Halifax would be very different.
Some information on how Simplycast is making a difference: