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Emera and Nova Scotia Power contribute a combined $1M to the Atlantic Compassion Fund and Home Energy Assistance Top-up (HEAT) Fund

March 23, 2020, Halifax – To help meet immediate and emerging needs of communities in Atlantic Canada due to COVID-19, Emera Inc. is contributing $500,000 to the United Way’s Atlantic Compassion Fund and its operating company Nova Scotia Power will donate $500,000 to the Home Energy Assistance Top-up (HEAT) Fund.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in extraordinary challenges for Atlantic Canada. Our current focus is on ensuring our ability to continue to deliver the critical energy needs of our customers, as well as the health and safety of our people and our communities. But we also understand the pressures this pandemic is creating for many, and we want to do our part right now to help those who need it most,” said Emera President and CEO Scott Balfour. “These donations to the Atlantic Compassion Fund and the HEAT Fund will provide immediate critical aid to our region.”

The Atlantic Compassion Fund will support people who are being most impacted by the widespread public health measures being implemented across the region, including those who are precariously employed, or are experiencing homelessness, mental illness or food insecurity, or living on a low income. This Atlantic-wide fund is being managed by United Way Halifax in collaboration with 10 other United Ways across the region.

The Home Energy Assistance Top-up (HEAT) Fund helps individuals and families who live on low incomes to pay their energy bills. The program is extending the April 15 application deadline indefinitely and waiving the application restriction on applying only every 24 months, meaning customers who received funding in 2019 may also apply in 2020.

“We understand our customers are concerned about the future, their jobs and their ability to pay their bills. The last thing we want them to worry about is going without power during this tough time,” says Wayne O’Connor, Nova Scotia Power President and CEO. “That’s why we are suspending disconnections for nonpayment for at least 90 days, relaxing payment timelines and waiving penalties and fees. We’re working with residential and small business customers to provide flexible options and making this additional donation to the HEAT Fund.”

The HEAT Fund program is a partnership between Nova Scotia Power, the provincial government and The Salvation Army. Every year it provides emergency assistance for all forms of home heating.

“Many people in our community are in crisis right now. The Atlantic Compassion Fund is a way to come together to support those who need it most,” said United Way of Halifax President & CEO Sara Napier. “Emera’s genuine and generous leadership to help will literally be put to use in days. We are so grateful, and we hope this transformational investment inspires others to join in by making donations of their own, and most importantly encourages all of us to believe we will get through this together.”

“We are so grateful for the ongoing generosity of Nova Scotia Power. The HEAT Fund helps thousands of Nova Scotians each year, and now, with this additional contribution, we’ll be able to help even more. Especially those who have been impacted financially due to COVID-19,” said Major Wade Budgell, Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army.

As with all community investments made by Emera and its operating companies, this $1 million contribution comes from shareholder investments and not customer rates. For more information about the HEAT Fund, visit www.nspower.ca/heatfund. To learn more about the Atlantic Compassion Fund, go to https://www.unitedwayhalifax.ca/giving/united-bycompassion-fund.html.


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About Emera
Emera Inc. is a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with approximately $32 billion in assets and 2019 revenues of more than $6.1 billion. The company primarily invests in regulated electricity generation and electricity and gas transmission and distribution with a strategic focus on transformation from high carbon to low carbon energy sources. Emera has investments throughout North America, and in four Caribbean countries. Emera’s common and preferred shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade respectively under the symbol EMA, EMA.PR.A, EMA.PR.B, EMA.PR.C, EMA.PR.E, EMA.PR.F and EMA.PR.H. Depositary receipts representing common shares of Emera are listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange under the symbol EMABDR and on The Bahamas International Securities Exchange under the symbol EMAB. Additional Information can be accessed at www.emera.com or at www.sedar.com.

About Nova Scotia Power
Nova Scotia Power Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emera Inc. (TSX-EMA), a diversified energy and services company. Nova Scotia Power provides 95% of the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power to more than 520,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers across Nova Scotia. The company is focused on new technologies to enhance customer service and reliability, reduce emissions and add renewable energy. Nova Scotia Power has over 1,700 employees and $4.1 billion in assets. Learn more at www.nspower.ca

Media contacts:
Emera Inc.
Marley MacDonald
902-428-6570


Nova Scotia Power
Andrea Anderson
902-233-6015

United Way
Sarah White
782-234-2504

Captain Jamie Locke
Divisional Secretary of Public Relations and Development
The Salvation Army Maritime Division
902-221-4729

A special update from United Way Halifax

United Way Halifax is committed to supporting our staff, partners, donors and community. While we can't possibly predict the full impact of COVID-19 on our community, we are committed to leading with compassion, collaboration and adaptability while supporting the needs of our community as best we can. We will post any updates here in the coming days.

Office Closure

In response to COVID-19, the staff of United Way Halifax are working from home until further notice to support social distancing and protect our community’s most vulnerable. All staff will be available by phone and email during this time.

Events & Other Activities

To ensure the safety of our staff and community partners, we have made the difficult decision to postpone Tampon TuesdayWe anticipate that we will reschedule Tampon Tuesday later this year and we will announce it publicly when we’re able to confirm a date. Any products that have already been collected will distributed to community organizations at a later date.

Individual & Community Support

If you require non-emergency help, 211 can connect you to over 3,000 community and social services across Nova Scotia, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Dial 2-1-1 or visit ns.211.ca for assistance.

The past week has been challenging and at times, scary. Please take care of yourself, and continue to turn to credible, government resources for the latest information:

Halifax Regional Municipality

Government of Nova Scotia

Government of Canada


Thank you for your support and for everything you are doing to put the collective health and well-being of our community first. 

- the United Way Halifax team

Low vacancy in affordable units affects our city’s most vulnerable people

JANUARY 16, 2020, DARTMOUTH, NS – United Way Halifax is troubled to learn of a drop in the residential rental vacancy rate to 1%, and is raising the alarm about the impact it has on people living in poverty in our city. Yesterday’s Rental Market Report released by CMHC indicates vacancy rates for more affordable markets dropped the most, making availability even tougher for those living in poverty. 

Kevin Hooper, United Way’s manager of partnerships and community development, says the low vacancy rate has a huge impact on people in vulnerable living situations. “People who are living on a low income already have few choices when it comes to where they can afford to live,” says Hooper. “A lower vacancy rate means they’re often forced to live somewhere they can’t afford, that is not suitable for the size of their family or in housing that is not in good condition.”

There are also implications for the non-profit sector, where organizations are trying to meet the needs of those who are experiencing homelessness or insecure housing. “The sector has roughly the same amount of resources they had when the vacancy rate was much higher, but with fewer vacant units it’s taking a lot longer to get people housed,” says Hooper. This has ramifications for United Way’s funded agencies as well. “Our agencies are running programs to help support people living in poverty. When their participants are paying more rent than they can afford or don’t have secure housing at all, the challenges non-profits are asked to address are getting steeper and can’t keep up with the demand for services.”

Despite the difficult realities of affordable housing, there are ways that government, businesses and non-profits can all be part of the solution. Hooper says “The reality is the private sector is not going to solve the housing availability issue on their own. But non-profit housing organizations could use the support of developers and businesses to take advantage of government programs and funding opportunities.” He also encourages employers to look at ways they can support employees who may be struggling with housing affordability, and encourages people to connect with United Way if they have ideas to help.


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Contact:
Sarah White
902-461-3076 (o)
782-234-2504 (c)


ABOUT UNITED WAY HALIFAX
United Way Halifax is a donor-funded, community building organization and a local leader in poverty solutions. They create opportunities throughout the year to bring people together, make local issues #UNIGNORABLE, and remove barriers for those experiencing poverty, homelessness and isolation. They help donors, volunteers, partners and advocates unleash their local love by connecting their desire to make a difference with real impact and meaningful action. Their vision is for Halifax to be a city united by compassion, rich in opportunity and free from poverty. In 2018, United Way Halifax published Building Poverty Solutions, a report that drives the organization’s work.


 

BMO and Medavie are founding investors of the United Way Neighbourhood Kitchen Fund

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, December 3 – United Way Halifax announced the creation of a brand-new fund that will help expand and renovate neighbourhood kitchens, where healthy food is used as a tool for building community, improving wellbeing and reducing poverty.
The announcement, held during a community lunch at the St. Paul’s Family Resource Institute on Giv-ing Tuesday, revealed investments of $300,000 each from BMO and Medavie to create the United Way Neighbourhood Kitchen Fund.

“For many of us, kitchens are the heart of a home – places of connection, learning and health. With the right resources, kitchens can be the heart of a local neighbourhood, too,” says United Way Halifax CEO Sara Napier.  “We care deeply about building inclusive communities – we will continue to do all we can to improve the wellbeing of people living in neighbourhoods that are facing higher rates of poverty and isolation.”

The Neighbourhood Kitchen Fund will allow local agencies to renovate, expand or modernize their kitch-ens, so they can better meet the needs of the community they serve. Those who benefit from the fund-ing may purchase new appliances and equipment, update or expand gathering spaces, and pay for es-sential items and supplies.

“This fund will strengthen local neighbourhoods by making it easier for people to gather and grow to-gether,” says Justin Scully, regional president of business banking for BMO, Atlantic region. “At BMO our purpose is to boldly grow the good in business and in life— and that’s exactly what we hope the in-augural investment of $300,000 into the creation of this fund will do.”

The fund will create new opportunities for people living in poverty to build relationships and support net-works, enjoy the benefits of good food, explore new skills and possibilities, and share heartwarming experiences.

Already a supporter of food-based community solutions in improving health outcomes, Medavie is ex-cited to join BMO as a founding investor in the fund. “As a not-for-profit health solutions partner, Medavie is committed to improving the wellbeing of Canadi-ans,” adds Bernard Lord, CEO of Medavie. “Through investments in programs and innovative solutions, we help people live well and enable easier access to quality health care in our communities. This fund will improve access to healthy food, while helping people become more engaged in their community. We’re proud to support an initiative that takes a sustainable, long-term approach to helping people live their best lives, mentally and physically.”

The fund is a targeted response to the key areas of need identified in Building Poverty Solutions, a community report that Napier and Mayor Mike Savage co-chaired and brought to HRM Council for adoption in 2018.
“Poverty, food insecurity and inclusion are important local issues that demand our urgent, broad and compassionate attention,” says Mayor Savage. “We need community leaders like United Way and cor-porate leaders like BMO and Medavie coming together, and showing how the private and charitable sector can join forces to meet the needs of our community.”

Kristen Hollery, executive director of St. Paul’s Family Resource Institute, knows how important their kitchen is to many people living in the community of Spryfield, and plans to apply for funding to replace their agency’s aging stove. “We have 50-60 community members come to our Soup’s On program eve-ry week, and really see the benefit of people coming together. For some people, it may be their reason to get up on a Tuesday morning. If the stove gives out on us, it’s a big loss for them and a large expense for a small organization.”  

United Way Halifax will be doing a call for proposals in 2020 and initial investments will begin later that year.

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Contact
Sarah White
782-234-2504
ABOUT UNITED WAY HALIFAX
United Way Halifax is a donor-funded, community building organization and a local leader in poverty solutions. They create opportunities throughout the year to bring people together, make local issues #UNIGNORABLE, and remove barriers for those experiencing poverty, homelessness and isolation. They help donors, volunteers, partners and advocates unleash their local love by connecting their desire to make a difference with real impact and meaningful action. Their vision is for Halifax to be a city unit-ed by compassion, rich in opportunity and free from poverty. In 2018, United Way Halifax published Building Poverty Solutions, a report that drives the organization’s work. The report can be found by clicking here.
 
ABOUT GIVING TUESDAY
GivingTuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it’s a time when charities, companies and individuals join together and rally for favourite causes. In the same way that retailers take part in Black Friday, the giving community comes together for GivingTuesday. Across Canada and around the world, Giving-Tuesday unites communities by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another.

...Aquakultre, Kim Harris, Wolf Castle, Leanne Hoffman, and Hua Li 化力 take part in memorable evening of stories and song at the Spatz Theatre

Celebrating the official kickoff to their 2019 festival, Halifax Pop Explosion partners with United Way Halifax, Forward Music Group, and Atlantic Lottery to present Songs of the City on Wednesday, October 23 at the Spatz Theatre.
 
Bringing together local musicians and storytellers to demonstrate resilience, strength, and the power of community, the memorable evening of stories and song features performances from Aquakultre, Kim Harris, Wolf Castle, Leanne Hoffman, and Hua Li 化力.
 
Songs of the City pairs five storytellers who have been impacted by the work of United Way Halifax with these talented songwriters who will perform an original song based on their authentic, inspiring, and life changing stories.
 
"We’re proud to work with Halifax Pop Explosion to shine a light on stories that might otherwise not be heard," says Laura Whitman, spokesperson for Songs of the City. "This is a great opportunity to highlight #UNIGNORABLE issues facing our community, while showcasing the incredible talents local artists have to offer."
 
Access to Songs of the City is included in the HPX 2019 wristband, and individual tickets are on sale now and available by clicking HERE.
PASS IT ON
 
Earlier this year, Halifax Pop Explosion also partnered with United Way Halifax and Killam REIT to introduce Pass It On, a new program designed to bring music into the lives of those who may need it most.
 
Pass It On provides festival wristbands to community members on a low or fixed income, offering them the opportunity to experience four days of amazing live music in Halifax this October.
 
Ahead of the 2019 Halifax Pop Explosion, patrons can purchase a regular festival wristband through the Pass It On program for $120. This price includes a regular festival wristband for themselves and an investment of 50% towards the cost of another wristband. The remaining 50% is then matched by Killam REIT, and the wristband is distributed to a community member by United Way Halifax.
 
For more information on the Pass It On program, visit: www.halifaxpopexplosion.com/pass-it-on
 
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ABOUT HALIFAX POP EXPLOSION
Since 1992, Halifax Pop Explosion Festival and Conference has been bringing tomorrow’s headliners to Halifax, and helping music fans discover their next favourite bands. Starting as a small, multi-venue festival showcasing local talent and bringing new sounds to the city, the Festival has grown into a 4 day city-wide music takeover that attracts some of the most exciting talent, ecstatic fans, and industry professionals from around the world. Taking place in multiple venues around Halifax, HPX is one of the largest and most exciting music festivals and conferences on the East Coast. Year after year, the festival leaves a lasting impression on the city — challenging the landscape of the local music scene and putting Halifax on the international industry map.
ABOUT UNITED WAY HALIFAX
United Way Halifax is a donor-funded, community building organization and your local leader in poverty solutions. They create opportunities throughout the year to bring people together, make local issues #UNIGNORABLE, and remove barriers for those experiencing poverty, homelessness and isolation. They help donors, volunteers, partners and advocates unleash their local love by connecting their desire to make a difference with real impact and meaningful action. Their vision is for Halifax to be a city united by compassion, rich in opportunity and free from poverty.
 
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To learn more about Halifax Pop Explosion, visit:
www.halifaxpopexplosion.com
 
MEDIA CONTACT
Sarah White, Communications Specialist
(O) 902-461-3076 (C) 782-234-2504
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