- Community Volunteer
For over 26 years I have been active in my community, volunteering, and looking for ways to make a difference. I enjoy giving back to the community and working towards a common goal – participating in such an effort is fulfilling. Instead of just talking about change, I like to get out there and work hard to make it happen! I volunteer because I believe you need to get involved in order to facilitate change. If you don’t participate, you can’t make a difference.
Volunteer Awards and Community Support
MLA Iain Rankin “…a community leader, actively engaged as a proud resident…enjoys family life to the fullest, teaching their children by example and being a role model for community service in his chosen career as a paramedic.” in RESOLUTION NO. 871, shared with the Nova Scotia legislature.
I have been honoured to have received the Nova Scotia Provincial Volunteer Award from the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and Premier Stephen McNeil. They recognized my environmental contributions and efforts to make our communities a great place to call home. I have been honoured to have received the Halifax Municipal Volunteer Awardto recognize the contributions I have made to the community over the last 20 years.
I was awarded the National Media Award, given by the former Tema Conter Memorial Trust, now The Tema Foundation. The non-profit is one of the largest supporters and educators of first responders, emergency personnel, members of the military, and their loved ones in Canada. The national honour was presented at an awards dinner in Halifax.
I was awarded the EHS Long Service Award, which is given to paramedics with 20 years of accumulated time working in the ground ambulance and good standing with the College of Paramedics of Nova Scotia.
Community Boards and Associations
Since a very young age, I have been active on committees and boards throughout the community. Currently, I am a member of several local community boards and committees in Halifax which include environmental groups, community programs, historical protection and recreation clubs.
Bayers Lake Mystery Walls – Nova Scotia Archaeology Society (NSAS Committee Chair)
In 2013, I watched a historic site in our community being subjected to vandalism and was concerned that none of our civic leaders had a plan or concern to protect it. With the help of a small group of concerned citizens, and as a director of the Nova Scotia Archaeology Society (NSAS) I chaired a sub-committee to protect and better understand the site. We were able to get better signage installed in order to educate people that the site is protected under the Nova Scotia Special Places Act and to also gain the support of Saint Mary’s University as well as Halifax Regional Municipality to fund further research into the site. This resulted in the most aggressive archaeological investigation of the site in almost twenty years. The results of this dedicated effort provided us with a better understanding of who built the Bayers Lake Walls and why.
BLT Rec Centre Community Council Committee – Board Member
I was selected to join the Community Consultation Committee for the building of the Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea (BLT) Recreation Centre. Our committee was set up in September 2017. Since then, we have been consulting with the local community about the proposed BLT Rec Centre. We coordinate with the Recreation Department and have an effective working relationship with them. I was frustrated to learn that the 2020/21 Capital Plan moved the BLT Recreation Centre schedule into the 4-10 year timeframe, which was originally in the 3-year plan.
Mainland North JEM –
JEM teams are all community volunteers. In times of crisis, EMO will activate JEM Support Centres (JSC) to coordinate a humanitarian response to the JEM coverage area. These centres are a facility where trained individuals can meet to provide local input to the Emergency Operations Centre, located in Dartmouth.
BLT Community Garden Project – Board Member and past vice president
This garden has become a family tradition as each year we plant a garden bed and we all share in its work. My children have always enjoyed getting their hands dirty and only seem to eat veggies from our garden. This year we are planting herbs and spices and some eggplant. Check out bed number 12 next time you are in the garden.
Nova Scotia Nature Trust, Wooden’s River Watershed Environmental Organization (WRWEO) & Five Bridges Heritage Trust
I joined WRWEO in the ’90s as a result of meeting Richmond Campbell, Tim McGee and Bob Chambers. As a board member, I helped maintain the website in the early days of the internet. It was an exciting time to be with the organization during the development of the Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail and working on the Sheldrake Lake Hypolimnetic Aeration Project. Beyond the projects, WRWEO was concerned about the impact of the proposal to extend cell heights at Otter Lake Landfill on the Bluff Wilderness Trail. The landfill is already visible from parts of the trail. I expressed the need for a strategy to inform residents about this issue. Working with Former City Councilor Peter Lund, we created a brief summary to circulate to interested organizations and the community. As a board member for the Trust, I was active in protecting the wildland on the Chebucto Peninsula. During my time with the group, we began beautifying the BLT Rails to Trails through bridge painting as well as ensuring the backwoods area was made much safer by building the first remote Helicopter rescue pad on the Chebucto Peninsula. I was also an active organizer of the May Fair in the park each year and worked on maintaining the website.
Otter Lake Waste Management
Due to my local environmental concerns and activism in the community, I was invited by MLA Iain Rankin and Premier Stephen McNeil to tour the Otter Lake Waste Management site in order to learn about the centre and the important role it played in managing waste in Halifax. Built-in 1996 after years of planning, the facility was one of the first large projects to be completed in the newly formed Halifax Regional Municipality. It was our Homeowners Association in 1998, that expressed concerns to city councillors about the new waste centre odours in our region.
St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association (sub-committee: Water Resources Committee)
As a member of the Water Resource Committee, I helped author a series of Water Briefs papers for the Stewardship. The Water Briefs were developed to further the community’s water resources knowledge and be able to share it with the greater Halifax area. The ultimate goal was to be able to responsibly and effectively develop a plan to protect our water sources in Western Halifax.
Scouts Canada – Beaver, Cub, Venture and Rover Leader
Scouts Canada is the country’s leading youth organization. For more than 100 years, we have brought a world of adventure, outdoor experience and friendship to 17 million Canadian youth.
The Wireless Room Volunteer for the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
This exhibit provides a visual demonstration of how ships communicated between each other and with shore stations after the advent of radio communications, who conduct live demonstrations of Morse code to our visitors. Those who wish may test their skill by sending their name in Morse code to the volunteer on duty. A certificate will be given to all who succeed.
BLT Canada Day Celebrations – Keeping families in our community!
Why do we need to leave our community for Canada Day? The Canada Day committee was started by a small group of us who felt that there was enough community spirit in BLT that we could hold our own event, so we did just that. Through hard work and determination, we have been able to host a family-friendly Canada Day event in our community for over five years. As a founding member of the BLT Today committee, I am proud of the work that is being done in Beechville, Lakeside and Timberlea, I hope to bring this celebration back in 2021.
Why I support MADD Canada
As a paramedic, I see all too often the effects of drinking and driving and I have zero tolerance for anyone that chooses to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while impaired. The number of people that are still being charged alone tells me that there is more work that needs to be done in our community through education and awareness programs. With the help of the Halifax Chapter of MADD, Emergency Health Services, and Halifax Regional Police, I hope to continue the red ribbons campaigns in our community.
Sheldrake Lake Maple Sugar Festival
Our homeowner’s association wanted a winter activity that would connect us during the dark days of winter. With so many maple trees in our community, we decided to tap our maple trees and boil our own maple syrup, finishing with a community pancake breakfast hosted by Acadian Maple in Tantallon. Each year we have been able to collect about 200 litres of sap for the families involved to enjoy. Each winter, the families look forward to the sap running and the friendly competition to see who has the most productive maple trees.
Serving Halifax as an Advance Care Paramedic/Clinical Support Paramedic
My grandfather, J. Albert Walker, came to Nova Scotia with $5.00 in his pocket and started his own funeral home and ambulance service which became the largest pre-hospital Emergency Health System east of Montreal. Joining the family business seemed like a natural fit for me. I wanted to help people and my experience as a lifeguard and as a firefighter gave me the edge to attend Holland College and take the Advanced Care Paramedic program. For the last 26 years, I have worked in our community helping our residents through their health care challenges during some of their most difficult times. During my career, I have been recognized with the EHS Long Service Medal and the Certificate of Commendation from the Governor-General of Canada for a water rescue.
Nova Scotia Paramedic Society (NSPS)
A professional association established in 2011 that promotes the study, research, and communication of the history of Emergency Health Services (EHS) within the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. As a founding member, we have worked with the Nova Scotia Government to recognize the work of Nova Scotia paramedics with Medic Monday. Our board has started to restore the oldest surviving Nova Scotia ambulance. We believe that this ’54 Pontiac ambulancecould be the catalyst in the growth of interest in our history and the first step in developing a plan for an EMS museum and historical archive.