Imagine Halifax initiative

The Imagine Halifax initiatives used a list of keywords known as the Imagine Halifax terms - which were influential on the list of all issues used at openpolitics.ca itself.

It combined them into a simple appealing pitch, with more detailed platform proposals on each citizen initiative available on the Internet.

"Offering to carve up the policy space and hand exclusive control to critics" was described by project editor Craig Hubley as "simply a route to failure as the input of activists and environmental groups will be ignored. They do not carve up issues this way, and there's no reason to ask them to." The actual material seen by the public was only the most visible however of "four levels: the evidence and background material and detailing what "policy terms" can and can't be used in policy statements, the arguments that candidates advance in debates and quotes, the positions that every party and group takes from which our group takes the best, and the exact presentation of those positions in a simple one-page statement of directions." E.g. the actual 2004 statement from IH itself:


"Imagine Halifax - growing citizen initiative

''Each Imagine Halifax citizen initiative is drawn from an
ongoing project to develop a "green HRM" citizen platform
independent of parties and candidates. Each such initiative
(or "plank" in the overall citizens' platform) is paralleled by a lobbying effort to gain Council and citizen and activist support for specific policy measures. At present these include:''
  • No Highway 113 - there *are* alternatives.
  • planning as far out as 2030, i.e. the HRM 25 year plan presently being debated
  • 4P: Precautionary Principle and Polluter Pays
  • access/ability
  • air and water quality
  • coast and wild region preservation - keeping our heritage
  • arts at the core of our economic growth, rather than sprawl
  • autonomy to pursue goals like peace and better business based on sane tax options
  • child welfare and the commitment for homes for all
  • telework encouraged to cut commuting
  • better civics, politics, training and information technology and an upgraded library system to support them
  • community centre that bond neighbours especially youth and seniors, into a village that can draw on many perspectives
  • rural regions treated as hubs of their own not just feeders of commuter traffic
  • crisis response and better energy options that don't fail in, or cause, a crisis themselves
  • equity especially in health matters and school funding
  • well-being as measured by a Genuine Progress Indicator
  • labour relations, e.g. the No Sweat initiative and other moral choices to purchase only what we can buy into;
  • municipal services controlled by the citizens
  • pesticide reductions
  • play and recreation, rather than simply more police, so our youth interact with each other, not just with cops
  • Rainbow Relations that boost our economy
  • street reclaiming supported by better
  • transit, transport,and tax options, e.g. a municipal fuel tax
  • sewage and stormwater handling that save rather than cost money
  • other waste treated as a resource or as a cost paid by its creator

''(On October 9, we added telework, rural, library, leadership, school and service initiatives based on responses of of candidates to our survey. After the election,
IRV, 211, 311 and audit issues emerged. We are also in the process of creating an overview of all electoral reform questions, and special pages only on harbour and ferry issues)''"

The Imagine Halifax platform is licensed CC-by-nc-sa by Imagine Halifax