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Privacy does not trump safety 

To the editor,

In response to Cheryl Watts' letter ("Don't let fear rule transit," Aug 7), which clearly puts her right to privacy over the safety of public transit employees, I offer this: When you leave the safety and privacy of your home to go onto a publictransit system, your quest for being anonymous and experiencing privacy becomes irrelevant. In any public place where an exhange of services is being sought, such as any financial institution, government office or transit system---where studies have shown employees are at high risk for assault, abuse or worse---the need for employee and public safety trumps privacy. I wonder if Ms. Watts complains every time she enters parkades in this city which employ electronic surveillance to catch car thieves or other undesirables, or takes money out from a banking machine. In both cases, she would be the patron, not an employee. She can choose to park somewhere else or not use a bank machine. Transit employees are performing their duties and deserve to be protected in spite of people who put their own privacy above safety. Provincial legislation (the Workplace Safety Act) which took effect on April 1, 2008, demands that employers take whatever measures are neccessary to protect their workers.

If you're under the illusion that security cameras are there to spy on you, stay home and never step into another public space again.

By -- Joanne Bernard


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