Councillor Martin E. Bell
District 2 - MODL
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Here are some of the issues important to Martin Bell

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

One of the more serious concerns I have heard in the past eighteen days is the need for affordable housing for poor and working class families. In a wealthy country like Canada with resources to provide assistance to 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.

Housing is one of our basic needs. The acquisition of accommodation is a major challenge in today’s society. Everyone must have accommodation. However, for those most vulnerable affordable accommodation is an even greater challenge.


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.


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.


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.


LaHave River Straight Pipe Initiative
The prospect of a straight-pipe-free LaHave River has been a priority for me for several years. I have always found it difficult getting the support at the municipal level to try to remedy this problem. I have always been told that at the municipal level we should just worry about an “education and awareness campaign”. The main issue here is that ...


Internet to Rural Areas of Nova Scotia
We as a Council have been aware that rural high speed internet is not the best in many parts of our municipality. While this is not an area where a municipality normally has any direct responsibility we have expressed what we are hearing from the general public to our MLA and MP. Canada as a whole has some of the slowest broadband speeds among the developed nations. This is a market in which over 90% is controlled by ...


Lyme Disease: [posted Dec. 20th 2019]
In talking to constituents after making a number of residential visits and attending several “Your Government/ Your Ideas” meetings, I hear one of the concerns that residents continue to express concern over is the spread of Lyme Disease. I do point out that this topic is already featured among MODL Council’s priorities.

Back in 2018 we launched the bait station and public education projects. MODL Council has committed to the completion of these two components of the Lyme Disease Response Project.

I would like to point out that this is the largest project of it’s kind in Canada! This topic remains one of the most important ones to residents participating in our public engagement sessions. The proposed outcome for 2020/21 is to complete the third year of the public education campaign and bait station research.