Letters to the editor, July 26, 2018

These are the letters and comments from the print edition.

Block that punt

As a citizen of Halifax, I wish to question why HRM council has deferred the question for the cost of a Canadian Football League stadium to city staff. The cost of this request is sure to amount in the tens of thousands of dollars, which taxpayer money is being used to determine. So, right off the bat the taxpayer is bearing the brunt to establish a business case for a stadium, when CFL advocacy group Maritime Football Ltd. should be footing the bill.

The idea for a CFL football franchise and stadium has been tossed around ever since the second day Mike Savage was sworn in almost six years ago, when he began conversations with CFL officials. It is no secret of his desire for a football franchise. It is also clear that the hiring of CAO Jacques Dubé—former CAO of Moncton and chief driver behind the 9,000 seat, $100 million Moncton stadium—figures nicely into the scheme of acquiring a football stadium for Halifax. Since then, it seems there have been private conversations with the mayor and members of HRM council, but since this was a privately run initiative the public could not be informed of the details as to how the stadium would be financed, even though things like tax concessions and infrastructure were being considered. The public was told many times by HRM councillors they would have to see a business case to determine if taxpayers would/could/should financially support a sport stadium,

Judging by what happened during the July 17, 2018 council meeting, the public did not hear of any business case presented by Maritime Football Ltd. Instead it was HRM council that has asked city staff, at taxpayer expense, to do the work the group, as told by the mayor, councillors and premier Stephen McNeil, would have to do to determine if the stadium should be partially funded by the taxpayer. This is purely an exercise of duping the taxpayer to pay, once more, to make already rich millionaires even richer. In my mind, council should not have passed the buck to city staff and instead should have stuck to their word of waiting for a business case from the Maritime Football group. Unless I missed it, the consortium was not even present at the council meeting in question.

Where is Maritime Football's business case to build a stadium? Why is council not doing its due diligence of requesting to see a business case from the group wanting this stadium in Halifax? HRM, as stated by councillor Steve Craig, is not a bank. This consortium, like any other business, should be talking to bankers instead of to HRM. —Gary MacLeod, Halifax

Shipyard oversight

I'm an avid reader of The Coast, and I have to say something about the recent Voice of the City by C. Brian Mintus ("Poor history of hiring Black workers continues," June 14). I have worked at the shipyards for 35 years, and I've worked with a lot of African Nova Scotia employed there as well.

For Mr. Mintus to assume that the shipyards don't hire people of colour is absolutely wrong. I think Mr. Mintus has grave issues with Tony Ince, the province's minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs, and is using the shipyards as a platform to get his voice heard. Maybe Mr. Mintus should find out some facts before spreading his hate. —Michael Saunders, Lower Sackville

The city's pot shot

What's this ("Public takes debate on Halifax's new cannabis bylaws to social media," Weed Talk story by Sandra C. Hannebohm, posted July 21 at thecoast.ca)? A balanced article with representatives from both sides of the discussion? In The Coast!? Way to go, Sandra!

I rarely smoke weed and have quit smoking cigarettes this year. I see the merits of this law but also think it's stupid. If you are going to punish smokers, then make it illegal to sell tobacco (I realize this will just increase sales of illegal tobacco) or create free smoking cessation programs. Unlike marijuana, nicotine is an addiction that's very hard to quit. Raising the price of cigarettes hasn't even been enough—all it's really resulted in is poor smokers. Pot smokers have been smoking pot in public for decades and are crafty about it when they have to be, this will not discontinue regardless of a bylaw. —posted at thecoast.ca by LaciG

Hi. I'm new in Halifax. Staying near Chocolate Lake. I need to smoke a joint. Please help. —AD, Halifax

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