By the end of the year you could be swimming in Halifax Harbour without that itchy rash.

Tests show the Harbour Solutions Project could make the harbour water safe to swim in the coming months, Mayor Peter Kelly revealed yesterday in his annual State of the Municipality Address at the Westin Hotel.

“We hope to see people swimming at Black Rock Beach and at the Dingle this year,” said Kelly. “That’s something we can all be proud of.”


Kelly said the $333 million project, which involves building wastewater treatment plants in Dartmouth and Herring Cove, has already led to improved water quality.

Kelly’s speech also presented rosy economic figures — a 3,600-person increase in average employment and the 8th best growth in the country behind seven Western Canadian cities.

His speech didn’t address details of the report on violence to be released today. The report is the result of several roundtables held throughout the past year, sparked by the murder of United States sailor Damon Crooks outside an Argyle Street bar in November of 2006.
It contains many recommendations, but some councillors have raised concerns there’s no money in the budget to act on them.

Kelly disagrees. He said if Halifax Regional Council makes the report a priority, they can find the resources.

“There are some recommendations we can implement quite soon,” said Kelly. “Council can re-allocate, we can work with the police departments, we can work with the police commission … there’s ways to move things around should the need be.”

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