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Idle cars, idle dollars 

There is an HRM vehicle (car, not bus) sitting outside my office window that has been idling for 10 minutes.

Dear Metro Transit,

As I write, there is an HRM vehicle (car, not bus) sitting outside my office window that has been idling for 10 minutes. Inside which there is a uniformed Metro Transit employee eating his lunch.

Quoting your own Policies & Guidelines: “As it currently stands, after three minutes, Metro Transit operators are encouraged to turn off the engines. However, there are many extenuating circumstances where operators are asked to use discretion.”

While this is an obvious disregard for the guidelines set out by one’s employer (i.e., eating one’s lunch while idling), a larger issue must be brought to light.

For those who don’t care about declining polar bear populations in the arctic, fine. Perhaps there are those who don’t know about/aren’t interested in how poor air quality is linked to respiratory illnesses (including those that are fatal to the very young and old). Maybe the depleting ozone layer (and its links to skin cancer rates) is of no concern to the general populus.

But what should cause people to stir with rage is the blatant and unnecessary waste of their tax dollars. With the current economic difficulties, the ever-present fear of another rate hike in both municipal taxes and Metro Transit fares, the question has to be asked: why are employees of publically funded institutions wasting your money? (And to further that thought, what on earth would justify additional hikes in fees and taxes?)

I demand a public response from those who ought to be accountable for the inefficient use of my tax dollars (let alone those not concerned about ozone, air quality and/or polar bears). I would also strongly encourage others to report on similar abuses---look around, you will see plenty of examples of provincial and municipal vehicles wasting your money by idling needlessly.

---Nicholas Cardone, Halifax

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