Michael Graves awarded the 2019 Claredon Robichaud Memorial Road Warrior Award

“It’s so easy — and necessary — to give”.

Halifax NS, (June 5th, 2019) “It’s so easy — and necessary — to give” says Michael Graves, a tireless volunteer and community worker. The Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network (NSCTN) is honouring Michael with the 2019 Claredon Robichaud Memorial Road Warrior Award for his in excellence and commitment in furthering community transportation in Nova Scotia.

NSCTN is a provincal organization that leads and supports the development of innovative and practical solutions to community transportation challenges. Graves work on championing the South Shore Maritime Bus Project, Bridgewater Transit, and the Bridgewater Smart Cities Challenge that tackles energy poverty makes him the perfect candidate for the award.

On his Linked-in Profile, Michael Graves describes himself as a: Town Councillor, United Way Coordinator, Social Justice Advocate, Environmentalist.

Michael is much more than these four descriptors. As a driving force in the pursuit of social justice for all South Shore residents, Michael has touched the lives of many people with his diligence, his compassion, his willingness to act, and his ability to see the big picture.

As a Bridgewater town councillor Michael has worked on two of the town’s latest transportation related initiatives. In September 2017, the Town began offering a public fixed-flex route transit service connecting residents to key destinations. The second initiative that Michael worked on was the town’s bid for the Smart Cities Challenge, which the town ultimately won on May 14th, 2019. He helped coordinate the Energy Poverty Research Program, and this innovative program was the linchpin bid.

Michael facilitated the Smart Cities Challenge team with the “first voice” on the subject of energy poverty. Michael, through his community work, knew that there is a great need to address energy, housing, and transportation difficulties faced by community residents. He made it possible for the team to learn about the experiences of those in the community that are impacted most by energy poverty so that the program could be built to their needs.

Michael also provided his expertise during workshops on how the Energy Poverty Reduction Program could work to address inefficient housing, and a lack of mobility options. Michael was instrumental in helping us make connections in the community to ensure that our project had the entire community behind it.

Michael has also been a driving force behind bringing the Maritime Bus service to the South Shore, acting as the Chair of the local Advisory Committee responsible for this project. Michael’s most recent project has been leading the South Shore Bus for Us Promotion Project and ensuring residents know about this community transportation service. Whether it was pinning up posters in each of the communities, or securing prime advertising space in local papers, he has done it all.

Michael has shown exceptional leadership in taking this vital project by the “tail pipe” and making it a “Go” for Lunenburg County and the rest of the South Shore. In recent years, through his role as a town councillor, Michael also championed the creation of Bridgewater Transit; an affordable and reliable fixed-flex transit system servicing the Town of Bridgwater.  Michael can often be found riding the bus and talking to riders about ways to improve the service in the years to come.   

 “A safe and supportive community is everyone’s responsibility. We instinctively want this for our family and strive to live in communities that embrace it,” says Graves. “But in order to live in a safe and supportive community, we all have to do our part.” Michael’s moto, the principle he lives by is:“It’s so easy — and necessary — to give”.

Background Information

Who is Claredon Robicheau

 

Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network distinguished board member Claredon Robicheau passed away on January 6, 2018. Claredon often jokingly described himself as the ‘Grandfather of community-based transportation’, having been a founder of Transport de Clare, which was the first community-based transportation service in the province. Claredon was also a founding member of the Nova Scotia Community Based Transportation Association, now Nova Scotia Community Transportation Network (NSCTN), as well as the Rural Transportation Association (RTA).

At the 2018 NSCTN AGM the Network agreed unanimously to rename its annual award in honour of Claredon. Claredon’s was always a good-humored advocate for community transportation, as well as for the disability community. While we work on a way to recognize Claredon’s enormous contribution to our organization and to community-based transportation in this province, we will all miss his cheerful presence around our Board table.

What is the Infrastructure Canada Smart Cities Challenge?

On May 14, Infrastructure Canada announced Bridgewater as the winner of the $5 million Smart Cities Challenge! We are extremely proud of our community and would like to thank all of the individuals involved in our project. Bridgewater was one of five finalists in the Smart Cities Challenge $5 million prize category. In March, the community submitted a comprehensive proposal for an Energy Poverty Reduction Program designed to lift residents out of energy poverty, starting by reducing the energy poverty rate 20% by 2025. The final application is the result of many months of consultation with Bridgewater residents and community partners. Stay tuned to the Town of Bridgewater and Energize Bridgewater social media for updates on the project.

https://www.bridgewater.ca/town-services/planning/planning-programs/bridgewater-smart-cities
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