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Letters to the editor, April 16, 2015 

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

Work it

Ainslie, about your job search: I feel your pain but you missed a golden opportunity ("Looking for work is a full-time job," Voice of the City by Ainslie Moss, April 9). You had the attention of The Coast's, what, 70,000-plus readers and you didn't tell us what you do! Me, I'm an HR person (EVERY applicant guaranteed a reply!), always on the lookout for ways to spread the message when I'm in hiring mode and having to be more and more resourceful by the moment. Your opportunities to spread the word are limitless. Grab on. By the way Coast readers, I'm on the lookout for an advertising sales rep. —Cindy Littlefair, cindy@mindful.org


Fish farming flop

Once again farmed salmon in the Atlantic Region have been found to be suffering from infectious salmon anemia. The latest ISA outbreak was at an undisclosed location in the Bay of Fundy. Consumers should be aware that in the past, infected salmon have been sold by our local supermarkets and seafood vendors without any packaging warnings to their customers.

Though no tests have been done to determine the effect that these diseased salmon have on humans, our government insists that they are good to eat. Studies in other countries, however, have determined that eating farmed salmon is not safe, particularly for children and pregnant women.

Our governments have given millions of dollars to the fish farm industry and have subsidized these privately owned companies for years when sick salmon had to be slaughtered. Could this be the reason Canadians are encouraged to eat contaminated salmon?

Consumers must look out for themselves by refusing to purchase salmon and trout raised in the open-net pen farms polluting our coastline. These farms are a threat to the coastal environment, our pristine lobster industry, our majestic wild salmon and our health. Consumers should demand wild fish, or fish raised in land-based farms that are free of sea lice, antibiotics, pesticides and infectious diseases. —Wayne Mundle, Halifax County


Savage sidewalks

While it's nice that warming weather is freeing sidewalks from the icy grip of winter, before we forget this year's debacle I have some thoughts about city-provided snow-clearing. First, this is a good idea: the city should provide that service. Moreover, they should do so to a very high standard, whatever it costs, at least in peninsular Halifax and downtown Dartmouth. Other thoughts:

1. The sidewalks are property-owned, not by the homeowner but by the city. To require people to clear property that is not their own, on pain of large fines, seems to me to violate the basic concept of property ownership—whoever owns it pays for maintenance. When the owner is the public, the public pays for maintenance.

2. There is a large, and increasing, proportion of the citizenry of Halifax who cannot easily clear their own walks. Let's say half of homeowners fall into this category. That means our sidewalks will be a patchwork of 50 percent cleared and 50 percent uncleared sections. If anything, this is worse than no clearing at all. In the old days if you were not in a position to easily clear your own property, you could get the kid next door to do it. I enjoyed many homemade chocolate cookies as a result of that practice when I was growing up, but there are fewer and fewer kids next door, fewer still who would be willing to do this chore. I tried yesterday to find a company listed in the Yellow Pages who would offer this service to residential customers, but not a single one I contacted would, at any price.

3. There is an issue of lifestyle differences between regions of HRM. In suburban HRM sidewalks are not heavily used, and often do not exist at all. The only real concerns for suburbanites are driveway clearance (as the mayor has made clear) and street clearance. "Let them eat beet juice" seems to be the word for those of us on the peninsula.

4. There is an issue of class difference as well. I think a greater percentage of poorer citizens have lifestyles requiring sidewalk use year-round than wealthier citizens, and the failure of the city to maintain walkable sidewalks this winter imposes differentially a hardship on them. The Savage streets are not equally savage for all. —Tom Vinci, Halifax

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