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Letters to the editor, February 2, 2017

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

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Building smarter

Thank you councillor Lindell Smith! Your statement about the proposed five-storey, 28-unit development at Coburg Road and Larch Street was right on ("This week at City Hall." The City by Jacob Boon, January 26). As you said: "If we're basing our decisions on a document and policy when we don't actually know the policies, then we shouldn't be putting things forward." Too bad no other councillor supported you.

Since 2010, HRM has processed at least 179 development agreement applications, each taking up tax dollars and hundreds of hours of staff time and volunteer citizen time. These rule-breakers preclude the Centre Plan, which while still in draft can hopefully be influenced through feedback by citizens and council. 

In the 1960s, Halifax razed 17 acres of downtown residential and commercial neighbourhoods and built the Cogswell Freeway. In 1968 it designated Bedford, Dartmouth and Sackville as bedroom communities, a city policy that created sprawl and the reliance on private cars. In the '70s and '80s over-building led to a glut of downtown office towers and big development crashed itself. Meantime about 150 smaller-scale developments proceeded or could've been built without notice, because these developers respected the rules. 

In falling to pressure from certain aggressive developers, HRM staff and council are literally demolishing the city's potential to monetize its best asset. Smaller, older districts and neighbourhoods are far superior in supporting measures for density, diversity, tourism, affordability, new business start-ups, local ownership and, most importantly, reducing the impacts of climate change. —Peggy Cameron, Halifax

Walking the walk

I went to the Women's March, and it was good to see a community speak-out in a loud voice against all manner of oppression ("Halifax women protest Donald Trump in solidarity with Washington," The City by Rebecca Dingwell, January 19.) Now I want to speak to those who say, "What good did the march do? It didn't stop Trump, he's still president."

This march is a start of the fight, not the end. Did the suffragette marches of the early 20th century accomplish anything? Yes. Did the civil rights marches of the '60s accomplish anything? Yes. Even the Tea Party movement in the 2010s accomplished their goals. Marches, protests, town halls, et cetera can work.

To the detractors of the march and its value, I wonder: If marching doesn't work, why is it banned in so many parts of the world? —Darren Parks, Halifax

All apologies

In last week's paper, we published a listing for a screening of the film Paragraph 175 at SMU, when the event actually took place the week before at a different venue entirely. We're still not sure exactly how the error happened, but The Coast sincerely apologizes to anyone in any way inconvenienced by our mistake.

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