Letters to the editor, August 25, 2016

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

Bard to basics

I'd like to address the Love the Way We Bitch by Julius C. in last week's issue ("Et tu opportunism?"). Shakespeare by the Sea has always been, and strives to remain, a company that is accessible to all theatregoers. Since our founding in 1994, we have had a pay-what-you-can by-donation policy in Point Pleasant Park. Recently, we added a feature called Sweet Seats whereby people can pre-donate online, and reserve a chair for $25. This came as a response to audience members asking for the ability to guarantee that seating would be available for them when they arrived at the park. This still means anyone can come to our shows, pay what they can afford and what they think the show is worth.

SBTS hires a fully professional cast and crew, and while we do receive some government and corporate support, we also rely on revenue generated by audiences to sustain living wages for our artists.

Based on the audience response to our work over 23 years, we think our productions stand up to any others on the local and national stage. We appreciate the comparison to the Stratford Festival, but it should be noted that while $25 is our very top ticket price, the same price in Stratford is not accessible to all patrons. The festival's top tier ticket is $189.

We're sorry for any confusion about how to access our productions. More info can be found at shakespearebythesea.ca or by calling 902-422-0295. We have two weeks left of our summer season and we'd love to have you come to the park, pay what you can and see for yourself what we have to offer. Shakespeare by the Sea is a theatre for the people, and exists to provide high-quality local professional theatre right here in Halifax. —Jesse MacLean, co-artistic director, Shakespeare by the Sea

Post is the most

As you may be aware, the government of Canada has recently initiated a review of Canada Post services. Over the last few years the board of directors of Canada Post has been determined to stop door-to-door delivery of mail. The Liberal Party indicated it would not go down that road. However, this review seems to be a means of bringing back that issue.

While we are all aware of the changing nature of mail content and frequency with the growing use of online options, we still clearly need a postal delivery service to some extent. If there is a decline in that line of service we should be looking at alternative public services. Canada Post has a great record as a public corporation and an infrastructure that can be used for delivery of other valued public needs, such as the provision of banking services to the many and varied local communities that have seen their banks depart. This kind of service has been offered with success in other countries and helped to maintain local communities, surely a worthy goal for a public corporation.

Interested readers can learn more at deliveringcommunitypower.ca. —William Stewart, Halifax

I noticed the Canada Post outlet in Lawton's at Spring Garden and Robie is cutting its hours on all seven days, even though the drugstore's hours remain the same. This does not make sense since the PO delivers essential services and is NOT running a deficit. Canada Post is, as a Crown corporation, ours; it belongs to citizens, so we should have our say. It has been profitable now and for the past two decades, employing valiant mailmen and women. Canada Post could do more—for example, it could actively support a green economy, reducing emissions in its delivery trucks by freeing itself from fossil fuel addiction. This would do something toward living up to the Liberal promises in Paris last fall. —Linda Lewis, Halifax

Non-governmental agencies have been struggling for decades to get funding for community programs, new business incubation, green energy, and services for seniors, handicapped and other disadvantaged people. Let Canada Post find ways to assist them with logistical, financial, transportation and labour supports. So many individuals and groups have great ideas, but stumble over red tape and lack helping hands to implement and grow their initiatives. Canada Post could be a one-stop shop for assistance of all kinds, working with other community groups familiar with local needs. —Yvonne Macor, Halifax

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