Half of HRM residents favour splitting up municipality into separate urban/rural governments

  • 48 percent support the creation of separate municipalities for HRM urban and rural areas. 
  • Although still strong, satisfaction with municipal government under Mayor Mike Savage at lowest level of 2018. 
  • Consumer confidence in Halifax is stable.

HALIFAX, NS December 5, 2018: Almost half of residents in Halifax Regional Municipality are in favour of splitting HRM into two separate municipal units – one for urban and one for rural residents, according to the most recent Urban Report survey conducted by Corporate Research Associates Inc. (CRA). HRM was amalgamated in 1996. More than 20 years later, 48 percent of residents support the idea of creating separate urban and rural municipalities, while 40 percent oppose the idea. Eleven percent were unable to provide an answer when asked the question. Support for splitting up HRM is higher in the non-urban areas (54 percent support) than in the Halifax core (47 percent) and in Dartmouth (48 percent). The only areas where more residents oppose the idea are in Bedford and in Sackville, where 49 percent oppose it, versus 41 percent who support it. 

Meanwhile, 66 percent of Halifax residents express satisfaction with the performance of the municipal government under Mayor Mike Savage this quarter. Although still a healthy majority, that is the lowest level of satisfaction recorded in 2018, down from 70 percent in August and six percentage points off the 2018 high of 72 percent in February. That said, satisfaction is currently higher than this time last year, when it stood at 63 percent. 

Consumer confidence in Halifax remains stable this quarter. The Consumer Confidence Index sits at 103.6, the same level as in August, though down from the 2018 high of 106.6, reached in February. This time last year consumer confidence measured 104.6. The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is based on five questions asked of Halifax residents regarding the economic health of their city and their households. 

These results are part of the CRA Urban Report, an independent telephone survey consisting of interviews with 400 adult residents in Halifax CMA, conducted from October 22 to November 15, 2018, with overall results accurate to within ±4.9 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.  

Corporate Research Associates (CRA), www.cra.ca, is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. Founded in 1978, CRA is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. Follow us on Twitter @CRAInsight.  


For more information, please contact:  

Margaret Chapman, CRA Vice-President at (902) 493-3834; mchapman@cra.ca 
Richard Foot, Manager, Urban Report at (902) 493-3826; rfoot@cra.ca