Halifax vs Toronto
Sorry, Andrew Murphy, but you need to get your facts straight ("Turn the ship around and come back to Nova Scotia," Voice of the City, October 11). In your article, your claims around home ownership and affordability are off the mark. CMHC does not mandate a maximum of 30 percent of income towards mortgage payment—their upper limit is 39 percent. And there is no compulsory down payment of 20 percent. People can put down as little as five percent. These details matter. Makes you wonder how Joseph Howe's duel actually went down. —Sean P., Halifax
Unfortunately the median income is lower here than in Ontario after income tax. Also the unemployment rate only includes those actively looking for a job. I'm sure the not-employed rate is higher here most of the year, because citizens have better access to EI and rely on it each year between work seasons. Everything else you say is spot on, and I really don't think you can live a life as comfortably in Toronto as you can in Halifax. —posted at thecoast.ca by Bill Thornton
We would love to move back, and you have made excellent points. Unfortunately the state of healthcare in NS is scary enough to keep us from leaving Ontario. Even my friends in Nova Scotia, who would like us to move back, tell us healthcare horror stories that keep us away. —posted by Bonita Sü
Ban the buds We have heard some people say that "legal pot" is a "done deal" and that there's no point in arguing the fact.
We care about our youth. We care about our communities. We care about our country and its reputation on the world scene.
We think Justin Trudeau has irresponsibly pushed through the Cannabis Act (C-45)—especially with so many concerns expressed by such a diversity of Canadians—MPs, Senators, healthcare professionals, community groups and associations, native groups. —REAL Women of Canada, via email. —posted at thecoast.ca by samcan
Come on, Coast
I know times are tough. I know this paper has miraculously kept its head above water despite the complete collapse of (news)print media. I am so grateful this publication is still free for all citizens to pick up as we please. Honestly, though, WTHeck is up with the content these days? I have been away from NS for a few years, getting snail-mailed old copies of The Coast periodically, so maybe my memory fails me. But what happened to the stories?
Locals making a difference, exposes of our suffering social pockets that beg to be brought to light, politically charged commentaries that really spark a fire under the seats of both readers and oppressors alike? Aside from the work of Rob Brezsny and Dan Savage, and the well-loved back page of Bitches/Loves/comics, I'm beginning to wonder why I continue to pick up this publication.
Please wake up, editors, I know you're better than this. Bring the independence back to The Coast —Faithful but Fatigued, via email
As Day One of Canada's post-prohibition era dawned, Halifax looked much as it did before October 17. The most visible change was likely at Q104 FM, which did a weedy rebrand to become HERB 104, The Home of Rock n Rolling. Honouring both Weed Day and the anniversary of noted pot fan Gord Downie's death, the "legalization station" played on-theme songs like Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" and Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," plus lots of Tragically Hip. So maybe things didn't change a whole lot there.
But at Nova Scotia's ganja ground zero, the Clyde Street cannabis store, something was definitely up. At mid-day the line to get in the doors was still more than half an hour long, and inside was another line-up to get to the counter for service. There were people who've been smoking weed since the 1960s beside people who have never used it. And pretty much everyone agreed the line moved faster than expected, considering you get to be a part of history. —Kyle Shaw
Pass the dutchie to firstname.lastname@example.org.