It’s a cliché answer, one you’d expect a mayor to say when asked what they think the greatest thing about their city is.
Yet for Peter Kelly, he genuinely believes next to the people of the Halifax Regional Municipality, nothing comes close.
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“They are our greatest strength – period,” he says during a break from his mayoralty duties. “There’s no comparison … our people above anything else is what makes us.”
Kelly refers to the HRM people as ones who are always there when you need them – such as through volunteering or as city ambassadors.
But there are other things to love about HRM. When asked the top-five things he most likes about Halifax, Kelly lists the following after people.
2. Our great natural beauty.
3. Our reverence we have for our history and heritage.
4. Our entrepreneurial spirit.
5. Our vibrant arts community and cultural diversity.
In specifics, Kelly talks about Citadel Hill, Public Gardens and Victoria Gardens as examples of HRM treasures. And as a place to get away to relax, you’ll find Kelly somewhere by water.
“And we have lots of that down here,” he points out.
Kelly realizes it’s a difficult time for some with the country in the midst of a recession. But he believes HRM is doing better than most cities in Canada because of our economic make-up, which sees a lot of people working in government, or the military.
“That’s not bragging, because it’s nothing to brag about,” he says. “The fact is it brings comfort and stability.”
Moving forward, Kelly believes the passing of HRMbyDesign and construction projects like a new convention centre in the downtown core will bring a “positive business climate.”
He also believes HRM is a community that pulls together in tough times, and the recession will bring out the best in us.