Stadium & statue
Every morning when I open my eyes I see my wheelchair. It is my main form of mobility due to an illness. Like most disabled people, I face major obstacles on a daily basis. I call it The Un-accessibility of Accessibility. I believed that the NS government working on Bill 59 would help provide a more liveable environment for the disabled to function in, but they are failing their task and I still feel like a second-class citizen.
Businesses are willingly ready to give financial support to build a sports stadium, yet cry poor at placing accessible washrooms in their workplaces. The shortage of accessible parking spots will become greater when they are used for "smoking areas." Over $200 million (at least) will be needed from taxpayers to build this stadium. Yet there's no talk of increasing the health care budget to raise the number of long-term care beds that are desperately needed.
According to "statistics," less than eight percent of Nova Scotians want a stadium. Nova Scotia has a 20 percent disabled population. These people have problems trying to get transportation to see their doctors. Taxpayers' money should be used to help taxpayers, not make profits for taxpayers' companies. I do not have a lot of confidence/respect in a government that has not solved the Edward Cornwallis statue problem. The statue is still hidden somewhere in a closet. I wonder where taxpayers' problems will end up. —Karen R. Clarke, Dartmouth
The straight poop
November 19 was World Toilet Day. Water, sanitation and hygiene issues should speak to all of us, but especially politicians.
The Liberals are proud of their feminist international assistance policy and support for gender equality in Canada and abroad, but should be very concerned that for almost 900 million people, the only place to go is outside. Particularly dangerous for women and girls as they are often sexually attacked. One out of three schools in the world have no toilets so girls in particular stop showing up in their teens.
The number of children under the age of five dying each year has more than halved thanks to the Conservative's 2010 maternal, newborn and child health initiative. But mothers are still giving birth in hospitals that have no running water and no toilets. It is not surprising that this poor sanitation leads to a newborn dying every minute and sepsis accounting for 11 percent of maternal deaths.
I am asking you to challenge all political parties to outdo each other in preparing a Canadian aid policy that addresses these needs as part of their 2019 election platform. —Sherry Moran, via email
Everybody poops, it's a universal human reality. But almost a billion people have no choice but to do so in the outside. Aside from the lack of dignity, this places women at risk of violence as they seek the cover of darkness alone. Such lack of sanitation also leads to widespread contamination of drinking water, and incalculable death and disease.
Nobody likes to talk about poop, and maybe that's why World Toilet Day has come and gone with little acknowledgement in the media. Perhaps that's also why only one percent of Canada's foreign aid goes towards sanitation, but squeamishness about a necessary life function is no reason to ignore sanitation as a critical focus for aid.—Franny Beckow, via email
I'd like to send some love out to the transit drivers who weathered the first snow with me on that recent Friday. It took over an hour for the bus to get down the hill on Portland Street between Dorothea and Spring Avenue, maneuvering the ice-covered street by turning the front end of the bus into the curb every time we stopped, bouncing back and forth so we avoided sliding into cars in front of us. All the while smiling and remaining jovial! A trip that normally takes me 20 minutes took three hours, and I missed two appointments with clients who needed homecare. I was grateful to be safe and warm on the bus, but I forfeited a whole day's pay! Come on HRM, get the sanders, salters and plows out a lot sooner and give us all a chance to get to work and home SAFELY. —The Cinster, Dartmouth