Dear mayor Mike Savage,
Last March I sent you a letter—to which I received no response—regarding the city's failure to clear snow. This year I would like to remind you that your salary is paid by the citizens of this city, and that your office has an obligation to respond to complaints made by those citizens. The city's failure is not merely an inconvenience: it is a matter of social justice. We have had two or three significant snowfalls this winter, and the city is already becoming unusable by cyclists and pedestrians. Yesterday, while cycling to work, I hit a patch of ice and crashed. The unploughed shoulders of the roads are already hazardous; soon I will be forced to place my bike in storage, as I did last year, and walk to work.
Here is what I learned from walking last year: Most sidewalks in the heart of the city were literally impassable. In some cases they had been inadequately ploughed; in other cases they had not been ploughed at all, or they had been ploughed over by snow shoved from the road. I am an able-bodied adult, and due to the ice on the sidewalks, I fell down once every couple of days. If I had been disabled or elderly, the sidewalks would have been too dangerous for me. By prioritizing the clearing of the roads at the expense of the clearing of the sidewalks, the city discriminated against its elderly and disabled citizens, as well as those citizens who cannot afford to own a car. Again, this is a matter of social justice: the city's failure at snow removal is ageist, it is ableist and it is classist. What will you do about it? —Warren Heiti, Halifax
Good morning Mr. Heiti,
On behalf of mayor Savage, thank you for taking the time to write and express your views on snow clearing operations. Please be assured your email will be brought to the mayor's attention shortly. In the meantime, I am forwarding your email to our key snow operations staff for their review and response.
Last winter we received an unusually high volume of winter snow clearing complaints due to the unique weather systems we experienced. It is certainly our intention to respond to all email received in the mayor's office. I have done a thorough search of the mayor's email, as well as the mail received last March via Canada Post. Unfortunately we have no record of receiving the letter you say you sent last March. Did you send it via email or via Canada Post?
Thanks again for taking the time to write.
—Brenda Murphy-Jollymore, community liaison coordinator, office of the mayor
Buy two, get bent
To Atlantic Superstore management and customers,
I have been a Loblaws customer now for 16 years. For the last five years, I have budgeted $12,000 a year on groceries. As one of my biggest financial commitments to any one company, I feel I should at least let you know why I am leaving as a customer.
I find the recent change in Superstore's sale pricing strategy (sale items in multiples of two only) both annoying and insulting. I find myself, with limited storage space, annoyed that I must have to buy two of a given item in order to get the sale price. In recent corporate history, a single item would suffice.
I am however insulted that you would treat members of our own community so poorly. Too many in our communities live on, or near the poverty line. To these people it is a struggle to simply obtain the basic necessities. Now you want them to buy two items in order to make things cheaper? Food security is a very real issue that needs to be addressed. I'm insulted in the way your new policy treats members of OUR own communities. I find it deplorable that you would do this to people who need our help the most. It is a policy that gives to the rich while ignoring the poor.
I now find myself in greener pastures.
—Steve MacDonald, Bedford
Thanks, The Coast
I've been meaning to write to tell you how much I liked the cover of the Fix the City issue (January 7). It was interesting to look at and I really appreciated the craftsmanship that must have gone into creating it. Thank you!
—Jean Chard, Dartmouth