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Letters to the editor, March 21, 2013

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

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IRVINGS IRE

The Irvings have a fortune of $3.5 billion. Our government is giving them $244 million to upgrade their ship-building facilities. Meanwhile, NSCAD, after following the government's advice and moving to the waterfront, finds itself $9 million in debt and in danger of extinction.

Here's my solution (full disclosure: I'm a graduate of NSCAD and I teach in the extended studies program): Reduce the amount we're giving to the Irvings by $10 million and give it to NSCAD instead. The Irvings will be fine.

In reality, they don't even need any of our money. The NDP just wants to insert itself into the situation to make its party seem like a vital component to the shipbuilding contract: "Hey everybody, we saved the Irvings! They couldn't have done it without us!" What a laugh. —Patrick Burgomaster, Halifax


I GOT YER TWEETS

You might as well move Russell Walker to the "Councillors not on Twitter" column ("Twitterdee and Twitterdumb," Reality Bites by Tim Bousquet, March 14). His account was only set up by his daughter to enable him to participate in the tweetchat #VoteHRM10.

He has not used the account again to date, which is a shame because he is my councillor and I would dearly love to engage him in the medium I prefer. Unfortunately, Russell doesn't speak Twitter and seems to have no interest in learning. —posted by halifaxfilmgal at thecoast.ca


In my view, the people we elect should genuinely want to do good for the people they represent, and not just in a superficial way that may get them elected for one term.

To do that job well means a level of maturity and professionalism that I fear is sorely lacking in our political landscape today. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common example of poor behaviour (I would even call it child-like behaviour) that is unbecoming of someone who has been given the opportunity to be provided with effective feedback (not negative).

Instead of using a powerful tool like Twitter to really learn about and better understand the people and issues in his constituency, he's taken the superficially easy path to exile anyone with a kind of "speak no evil" policy that really means he will only ever hear what he wants to hear, surrounding himself with the kind of yes men who will always tell him that everything is just great!

Hey, isn't that how the emperor ended up walking around without any clothes? Even kids in preschool who have read that story get it. —posted by Brandon Kolybaba


Good column. The mayor should try being Mike. —posted by Joeblow


BACK THIS BUS UP

"Is your bus driver stoned?" (Reality Bites by Tim Bousquet, March 14). This is not a question I want to be asking myself as I step onto a Metro Transit bus.

Metro Transit is pushing for more ridership from the residents of the HRM, but how can we trust that our drivers are not under the influence of whatever substance they choose as their vice? This is not a problem without a solution. They can, and undoubtably should, have employees do mandatory routine drug tests. These people are providing to us a service where, ultimately, our life is in the hands of the person operating the bus. As riders we deserve to be protected from drivers who use drugs and drive buses.

And not only do riders deserve to be protected from drivers who are under the influence, but other people on the road deserve to be too. A bus driver is operating a very large and powerful piece of machinery. If they are not operating it with a clear mind, they not only put the riders at risk but all others that the buses share the roads with.

If the safety of the public is indeed Metro Transit's foremost concern they will implement a drug policy that can adequately reflect that statement. —Kelly MacNeil, Wolfville

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