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Mailbag December 13 2012 

These are the letters and comments from the print edition.

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City to-do

Do you not think staff organized it this way to ensure new councillors and the mayor were not overwhelmed their first couple of meetings (“Do-nothing council,” Reality Bites by Tim Bousquet, December 6)?

Last year they were all seasoned veterans and the chances that we would have a lot of newbies after the election were high. The process for adding items to the agenda is a long one—I would expect things to speed up now that they’re on a roll.
—posted by funnygirl at

Tim, sometimes I appreciate your jouralistic digging, and sometimes I just think you’re grasping at straws on conspiracies that just aren’t there. This time it’s the latter—I work with another municipality and I can tell you that it’s the exact same situation here. Like funnygirl said, with the elections you need to bring new councillors up to speed and not overwhelm them too much. With the holidays it’s not an ideal time to be getting into big issues because important staff might have time off and because the public often doesn’t have the time to attend public meetings and such. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.

I’ll also add that while yes, council ended up being mostly re-elected vets, what’s going to be on the agenda is often put into motion weeks or months before, ie you plan completion of staff reports based on a future agenda, and those reports also usually have to be in to the admin staff with a good leeway for them to put the agenda together.

So while council may not be that new, decisions about the agenda were probably being made during the election when there were no guarantees that the whole of council wouldn’t be newbies.
—posted by hipp5

And they didn’t even deal with the Skye issue. They just proclaimed there wouldn’t be any debate or discussion and quashed it. Democracy, Mike Savage style. —posted by Dartmouthy

Risk: not news

The Community Economic Development Investment Fund terms and conditions are very clear (“Seaport investors may be toast,” Reality Bites by Tim Bousquet, November 29). The government website for CEDIF is very clear.

It’s a risky proposition—the website says so. Whether an investor put in $100 or $10,000 to the Seaport Farmers’ Market, they could stand to lose their entire investment. Investors in a CEDIF are not “shareholders.” Generally you are providing money to a project you believe in. The government, in exchange for your generosity, gives you a nice tax credit. It’s up to you to do the work to determine the viability of the project.

To me the ones who should be held accountable are the ones who have their names written all over the CEDIF application and who led this process for the Seaport Farmers’ Market. THEY should be explaining all of this to the people who invested in this fund.
—posted by Blitzen

Let NPs step up

There is a health care problem our province is avoiding. This issue has been shelved for years while other provinces acted and saved millions while filling the need nicely: We in Nova Scotia are short of doctors. There is a doctor shortage everywhere. Demand is high, and supply is low, that means that doctors can demand very high wages.

The answer is Nurse Practitioners, NPs—registered nurses who undertook extended training and have been accepted to work along with doctors in a number of Canadian provinces and around the world for 40 years, filling the gap caused by doctor shortages by using NPs will save millions.

This province has studied this question since 2002 at least. The time is overdue for action.

—Lorne Perry, Dartmouth

Face of the game

“Are video games art?” Well duh (“Game theory,” Arts by Kevin Hartford, December 6). If you want to actually focus on something of value, how about the rampant and horrifying sexism and misogyny that pervades the industry?
—posted by SwampDonkey


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