Councillor Martin E. Bell
District 2 - MODL
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Martin Bell

Here are some of the issues important to Martin Bell

Coastal Protection
[posted March 23rd, 2023]

Crescent Beach is a place I visit every week, sometimes more than once per week. It is a great place to just walk with the breeze in your face. I almost always take my dog because she enjoys it more than my wife and I. It was on March 18th that someone asked me “what did I think of the Sea-wall” . I didn’t really have an answer because I was unaware of the construction project. I hiked the 2 kilometers across the beach to see what they were talking about and found nothing so I returned to my car. What I did not realize, is that they were talking about what is sometimes referred to as Little Crescent Beach on George Island.

On the 19th of March I drove over to George Island and walked down to Little Crescent Beach and was shocked with what I saw. I took several pictures and went home. And then started making a few phone calls, doing a little research to find out how this approached to this stage and that I am now just hearing about it. Within a day, I shared some of my pictures and shared what knowledge I did have with some other devoted community coastal advocates. In the next three days I made a daily visit to the beach, taking a few more pictures at different tide levels and talking to many other people visiting the beach. I do point out that this community is located in District 1 of the Municipality, which falls outside the jurisdiction of my District, which may have accounted for why I did not receive any phone calls up to this point. I can assure you that this situation changed after I made a posting on social media.


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Cape LaHave Island Is Of Significant Value
[posted February 2nd 2021]

I believe Cape LaHave Island is of significant value to our community and our nation.

The former MODL Council moved unanimously in November of 2019 to direct staff to develop a Conservation Agreement with the Nova Scotia Nature Trust for Cape LaHave Island and to bring the Agreement back to a Council meeting for consideration. In that motion we asked that the Agreement developed include a community consultation process.

During these past 14 months the Nova Scotia Nature Trust have been gathering ecological information, habitat type, cursory understanding of existing evidence of human use. The engagement strategy was designed to involve the public in the decision-making process. We undertook a virtual consultation process using the mapping and survey tools on EngageMODL and interviews with identified stakeholders. Additionally, in each promotion of the online survey, it was clearly communicated that residents could also call Laura Barkhouse directly to submit their feedback, and an internet connection was not required for participation. The engagement period was November 15 to December 15, 2020.


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Investing into and protecting Open Space Strategic Plan
[posted August 17th 2020]

In MODL we have six rails to trails that we support. Martin has walked every single trail in MODL and fully supports the idea of making sure the trail groups that we partner with have financial support to continue their work. This is an important group of volunteers who continue to pursue expansions and address any safety issues.

River Ridge Common has had some major investment into its recreation opportunities and this park was keeping the needs of children and youth in mind as well as adults. Martin has been, and continues to be a keen supporter of River Ridge Common.

The MODL looks after the interests of the public on the Cape LaHave Island property. Martin wants to ensure individuals have the ability to camp, hunt, hike or just walk our dogs on this great 2,600 acres of prime undeveloped land. Martin wants to ensure this island stays as undeveloped land. It must be one of the few old growth forests left on the east coast. It is our understanding that the Crown turned over this land in trust to the Township-Municipality of New Dublin later to become Municipality of the District of Lunenburg. A few years ago, the federal government considered making it part of Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site as a seaside distant park but MODL did not allow that to happen. Martin wants to explore conservation options for Cape LaHave Island if it can ensure public access for years to come. We need to avoid mistakes where there once were thought to be public trails or access that over time seem to disappear. Martin points to a program where MODL works with the Mahone Islands Conservation Association (MICA) to ensure zero development but free excess by the public in a protected policy.

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My position on aquaculture (fish farming) operations.
[posted February 11th 2020]

With the possible establishment of open-pen fish farms, we the local council are being told this is a tremendous opportunity for us and our residents. We could see several sites like Cherry Hill, Blandford, Northwest Cove and St. Margaret’s Bay having farm licenses issued for additional aquaculture (fish farming) operations. The first fact is aquaculture licenses are issued by the Province of Nova Scotia and not by municipal units. Some may therefore say I should not have an opinion on the matter. I want to say this is a tremendous risk for us and our residents, so I believe I do have a say as I have a great interest in my neighbourhood and those who live and share the communities in my neighbourhood region.

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Active Transportation (AT)
[posted October 3rd 2020]

Martin believes Active Transportation (AT) enhances quality of life, attracts business and knowledge workers to a community and contributes to economic development. Over the last 10 years, the concept of Active Transportation has been gaining popularity because the health, social, environmental, economic and tourism benefits are so substantial. That is why Martin has supported a series of upgrades to AT that includes paving the shoulders of our highways. One of the most cost-efficient and effective ways that MODL supports the development of Active Transportation infrastructure in our municipality is to partner with the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (NSDOTIR) to widen roads to include paved shoulders when they are being re-surfaced by NSDOTIR. MODL does this by contributing to the cost to widen the road to include shoulders for AT purposes (primarily walking and cycling). The average cost to MODL per kilometer on these projects is approximately $60,000.00.

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Investing into Affordable Housing – We grow as a Community:
[posted October 12th 2020]

One of the more serious concerns I have heard during my 2020 election campain is the need for affordable housing for poor and working-class families. In a wealthy country like Canada with resources to assist corporations, there is something very disheartening and a real disconnect with people when we have reached this state of affairs when dealing with some of the most vulnerable individuals in our communities. Let me point out that the is a federal issue and to some degree a provincial issue. This is not a municipal issue in the Province of Nova Scotia. That being said, I do have a personal view that I will share with you.

Housing is one of our basic needs. The acquisition of accommodation is a significant challenge in today's society. Everyone must have a place to call home. However, for those most vulnerable, such as single parents, young families and seniors, affordable accommodation is an even more significant challenge. Access to suitable and adequate housing has been proven to promote health and wellness, educational performance, and an array of other quality of life benchmarks. Given the large...

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