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Letters to the editor, July 18, 2013 

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

Whatever happened to (world) class

Tim Bousquet is spot on in lacerating the world-class bluster that has become the norm for hometown boosterism in Halifax ("Two decades of world-class delusion," July 11). It would be embarrassing but harmless if it was not for the fact that it drags us into wasteful, splashy and pointless projects. David Miller's advice is simple and direct–do what you can and do it well.

Far from being world-class, we are one of the world's slow learners when it comes to doing just that. Take tourism: How much of our touted hospitality do we really offer, gratis? In the summer, we turn our waterfront over to boardwalk tat and let wagon rides or amphibious clunkers back up our downtown traffic in the interest of extracting tourist dollars.

Or take transportation: We live in a multi-modal world. People walk, ride bikes, use transit, rely on taxis and own automobiles. To compare Halifax to any well-run European city is to feel ashamed on all fronts. Heck, we don't even bother to keep the paint on lane markings.

We love our Mooseheads and they are top of class. But we should remember that that class is regional hockey played by teenagers. Do what you can and do it well–words to cherish. –Mike Poulton, Halifax

Tim Bousquet's lengthy piece on Halifax's "world-class delusions" stinks worse than our "world- class" sewage treatment plant.

Thousands of words about a small city with big misguided dreams and he fails to state even once that Halifax already is a great place to live. Most people I know love Halifax and wouldn't trade it for Toronto or any other city. We choose to live here. Did anyone stop to ask why anyone would want to read such a long article about how their community is desperate and delusional?

And I'm sorry, but you can't make up for all the complaining with some token references to our "alternative strand of history." Let's hear more about the alternatives and less of Tim's opinion on why Halifax sucks.–Creighton Barrett, Halifax

I don't have the words to say how valuable I think this article is for Halifax, and Nova Scotia. I've lived many places and Tim speaks the truth. From the premier to other government officials, I hear that no matter what happens or how bad/expensive it gets, people will stay here because of the good quality of life.

Yet the quality of life in Halifax seems to be subsumed by the poor self image and the need for come-from-away dollars that Tim writes of. I'm so tired of hearing "world-class city" and I hope this article wakes people the hell up! We don't need high-rises and convention centres to make Halifax cool. We have our special Nova Scotian character which exists nowhere else and we still have the bones of the mutual support Tim writes about. We just need to honour it. The rest will fall into place.–posted by arteest103 at

Take a walk on Barrington from Duke to Spring Garden, does it look like this place is being run by people who know what they're doing? I'm curious to know what various university students who visit us eight months at a time over a three- to four-year period take away with them. What stories do they tell of Halifax?–posted by Cranky

Isn't it time we stopped using the phrase Come From Away? It is xenophobic–fear of anyone different than you–in the extreme. –posted by BigJMcC

Thanks for this. A good start for stimulating the economy and creating wealth locally would be to encourage and support local food production so that we don't continue to send 97 percent of our food dollars out of the province. –posted by Heather Holm

The real delusion is not that we are a world-class city. The delusion is that we are a city. We are an amalgamation of small towns and the sum is a big town by world standards. There are officially no cities in Nova Scotia, as the provincial government has dubbed large urban areas "regional municipalities.–Stephen Shay, via email


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