Letters to the editor, February 27, 2014

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

Ageless duty

Re: "Halifax isn't to blame for young people's poor job prospects" (Voice of the City by Bryce Crosby, February 13).

While I'm sure everyone appreciates Mr. Crosby's "pep talk" about getting jobs in Halifax, can we please bring some data and evidence to the table? Here are the facts: According to the Halifax Index 2013, a study released by the Greater Halifax Partnership last year which provides a "state" of the city economy, between 2006 and 2012, 97 percent of job growth in Halifax went to workers aged 45 years and older. You read that correctly---97 percent. That means workers under the age of 45 got three percent of new jobs.

Now, take that number and combine it with Stats Canada numbers, and you'll find that people between the age of 18 and 44 actually make up approximately 30 percent of Halifax's population. So, let's be clear. A group that constitutes 30 percent of the population got three percent of new jobs. That, on its face, suggests some obvious systemic problems, possibly even age discrimination against young workers.

So, Mr. Crosby is dead wrong. This is not a fault of young workers in this city---when 30 percent of the population is getting three percent of the new jobs, in a city filled with highly educated university grads, something else is going on. Businesses are too lazy to hire young because they think it's too costly to train. Governments think the same. And unions don't care because their membership is older and employed. They don't want young workers seeking paid/unpaid internships on their turf.

Given Nova Scotia's de-population problems, there needs to be action now on youth jobs. Journalists need to write about it more. Politicians need to talk about it more. Most importantly they need to act. As a start, HRM and the provincial government should set concrete targets for youth hires and provide incentives to business to hire young workers (ie, through payroll deductions for youth hires). With the Ivany Report's call to action, youth employment is now an existential issue for the province. Act. Now. —James, via email

Correct change

If you arrive at the new Metro Transit Dartmouth terminal with $5 in your pocket, plan on walking or dropping the bill into the fare box.

In its infinite wisdom, Metro Transit has built a bus terminal and failed to provide a change machine for those who have only paper currency. The guy at the little store won't make you change unless you buy something---and he takes great delight in this, waiting smugly.

You'd think that any lease agreement with a store in a bus terminal would ensure that customers could make change or buy bus tickets. He will sell you a sheet of 20 tickets, but that's useless unless you have $19.99. Why can't we buy one, or three? Security can't help and bus drivers don't, so basically, unless you arrived with exact change, you're screwed. It's like they don't want our business. Idiots!

Unless there is some really nasty deal struck between the guy in the store and Metro Transit, someone on the top floor needs to get change machines into our bloody bus stations so we can pay to ride our own frickin' busses! —Roy Ellis, Dartmouth

Real prize

Erin is one of the most beautiful souls you'll ever meet ("Fully RealEyez," Music by Stephanie Johns, February 20). Ridiculously talented too. Definitely one to watch and support. —posted by Sabrina Poirier at thecoast.ca

Art lessons

In addressing subtle racism these works allow people to see how they can change their own behaviours ("Come Clean about subtle racism," The Scene by Michael Lake, February 20). I don't often get that out of art. Well done Tamara Huxtable. —posted by Emma Helsinki Cooper

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