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Letters to the editor, October 16, 2014

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

Post phoned

Great story on Canada Post and its five-point action plan to steal our postal service ("Halifax's mail fail" cover story by Jacob Boon, October 9). We can change this situation. We are all "shareholders" in this corporation and have a say in its direction. If only 25 percent of the population called their MP and said they would not vote for them if they supported the end of door-to-door service, it would stop this plan in its tracks. —David Frevola, Halifax

Ad nauseum

Jacob Boon's "Deceptive bus ads hide anti-abortion agenda" says groups opposed to abortion are "vague" in their messaging (The City, September 25). The first page you see on is their mission, saying "we aim to promote respect for pre-natal life." There is nothing vague about that. If you are looking for abortion then don't go meet with a group dedicated to protecting prenatal life! —Someone who cannot say nothing, Halifax   

I want to add my two cents on anti-abortion ads that are flooding this city, not just on transit, but also via road-side "protests" and any other way these folks can shove their agenda down your throat. In January of this year I found myself pregnant and, despite having made my decision about what to do in less than an hour, I found myself looking for every possible resource I could find to help me on my chosen path.

As a single female in her 30s, who made the decision to have and raise this child on my own, I knew I was in for a long, rough and often painful ride. If you google "pregnant halifax ns" an awful lot of services and information become available quite quickly. One service that seemed legit was the "Halifax Pregnancy Care Centre," which is one of the major offenders with their current transit ad promotional campaign.

I just needed to talk to an actual human being!! What I didn't need, after the lengthy amount of paperwork, was to spend two hours pouring my heart out to a person who has no medical training, no post-secondary education in counselling, no intention of helping me unless I want to carry the child to full-term and is only available to me because "god called her to do this."

I was so out of my mind with worry and grief and fear that I didn't even realize what I was getting myself into until she ended our 2-hour "introductory meeting" with a prayer that the one, true, judeo-christian-god might hear and help me make the right choice. So, my only choice is to have this baby? Thanks a lot, assholes. The law in this county says that it is my body, and I get to make my own decision. When will these conservative jerks acknowledge the law and back off? —Name withheld by request, Halifax

Lane gains

Peggy Walt inadvertently points out the obvious in her letter ("Over the lanes," Reply all, October 2): University Avenue is no more than a dead-end street that serves mainly as a parking lot. Traffic is either hunting for parking or short-cutting to avoid using Robie Street and other congested routes.

So if you are going to remove the parking to cater to bikes, why not go the whole hog and turn it into an attractive pedestrian space? Bikes and vehicles with permits could be allowed as long as they proceed at a crawling speed compatible with wandering pedestrians. That way you could convert the blocks west of Robie into an attractive pedestrian destination and a worthy entrance to our premiere university. —Michael Poulton, Halifax

While I sympathize with Peggy Walt's concern over reduced parking for an established arts space, and agree that a separated bike lane on University Avenue is not necessarily a good idea, I do think the discussion needs to be a bit wider at this point. Most people don't cycle more (or at all) because they don't want to ride in traffic, and with good reason. Separated lanes work better than anything else to prevent accidents involving people cycling and people driving. More people cycling means less people driving, and less people competing for a finite amount of parking spaces. Encourage cycling and you are improving personal and community health. So bike lanes should happen, and they SHOULD happen where cyclists (or hopeful cyclists) are currently wary of riding. —Craig Stewart, Halifax


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