Vision for victims
This letter is written in response to the recent article by Maggie Rahr, "Domestic violence court fast-tracked," which did not convey certain information from the conversations she had with us.
Halifax domestic violence agencies have been meeting for more than three years to develop a vision of a community/government partnership that would effectively respond to individual victims. These conversations have involved a bold and creative re-visioning of what a Domestic Violence Court could do for people who have been abused. A restorative approach involves consulting with victims about the harms that have been created, and engages those who have offended to repair these harms. Our position is that any process like this would not require a woman to have face-to-face contact with the person who harmed her, because this direct contact may create more harms. Victims would always have choices about what would work best for themselves.
We trust that government will strive to have a Domestic Violence Court start within the next six months that can be continuously improved over time. —Tod Augusta-Scott, executive director, Bridges Institute, Truro
As a carless resident, I was delighted to read the bold print announcing $13.8 million to go to the HRM transit system ("Halifax Transit getting $14 million worth of 'gee-whizzes and neatos,'" Reality Bites at thecoast.ca by Jacob Boon). Excitement faded, though, with details about the allocation of the money: to a Toronto software company, seemingly with every cent devoted to technological improvements.
Those who do not use the bus, or have given up on it because of spotty service to the suburbs, are unlikely to change their habits and leave their cars at home because of new electronic fare boxes or the prospect of e-payment options. Many buses simply don't provide adequate service to make it worthwhile as an option. The number 15, for example, goes every hour. If you're held up in the office for a couple of minutes, you'll have to wait another hour. No wonder its ridership is low. Why not use smaller buses, increase service, woo your riders back? Or use some of the millions to try something really radical to attract new patrons, such as "free bus travel for the month of September." —Kenna Manos, Halifax
A statue solution
My wife and I have been following the controversy of the Cornwallis statue in Halifax. We had no idea how this man conducted himself at the expense of the people who occupied this land for centuries before the white man came. Instead of taking down the statue, the best solution would be to put up another bronze plaque next to the existing plaque stating the wrongs that this man did, and also cast in that plaque an apology to the aboriginals. This just might satisfy a lot of concerns. —John Fennell, Westphal