The guy behind the signature

on Feb 16 in Portfolio by

Originally published in Halifax Magazine, February 2011.
Read the original article at

Photo: Tyler Cleroux

Photo: Tyler Cleroux (

Randall Kennedy is kind of like a Santa Claus for elevators, travelling across the province, visiting each and every elevator on his own and signing the permits that appear inside them. Kennedy doesn’t actually visit every one of the 3,400 elevators across the province, but as the chief inspector and manager for the provincial government department that manages elevator safety, his name appears on the permits.

This means he’s often the one people call regarding elevator issues. “It generates a lot of extra work,” he says, explaining that with modern technology, it’s easy for people to find his contact information and call him. They often do this from the inside of an elevator, both day and night.
Kennedy is quick to point out that he values all the calls that come in as the majority relate to safety. “Every inquiry that comes in here, every complaint that comes in here, we take them very seriously,” he says.
He’s worked in the elevator industry since 1972. He joined the provincial government in 1990 as an inspector. In 1998, he became the chief inspector, but his reach extends beyond elevators. His jurisdiction also include escalators, moving walks (like at Halifax international airport), amusement park rides and ski lifts.

And as the name that appears on every elevator permit, Kennedy has a strange bit of local fame. “It’s amazing the amount of people that say, ‘Oh you’re the guy on the elevator,’” he says.

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