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Letters to the editor, June 13, 2019 

These are the letters and comments from this week's print edition.


Stop those trains

The feds recently announced a $47-million port infrastructure plan that will send mile-long freight trains, 24 hours a day, through the south end to replace container trucks downtown. Halifax Port Authority president Karen Oldfield, and politicians Waye Mason and Andy Fillmore, have adopted an incredibly cagey manner of not talking about what this decision means for neighbourhoods along the rail cut. No public discussion was held to give any of us the chance to weigh in on this decision. We are against pouring container freight cargo through the CN cut for the following reasons.

The 24-hour-a-day noise of squealing brakes and freight cars. Contrary to public belief, the south end is not just a high-end neighbourhood; there are many low-income, middle-class family and student homes along the rail cut. Noise and toxicity concerns will destroy public enjoyment of all of the Northwest Arm and nearby trails.

We do not know what is in those freight cars. How much of the cargo is dangerous? Are there toxic gas products? CN has a bad record for freight crashes, and this decision sends volumes of unknown shipping cargo through our residential neighbourhoods. The decision supports developers over long-term residents

This change largely benefits downtown businesses, tourists and short-term residents, but NOT long-time residents living in a green belt. This decision fully supports the developers who built high-rises downtown that are still largely empty or being purchased by non-Canadian citizens, and part-time residents. Of course other people have qualms about buying them, because they are built along a truck route! This allows developers to more easily sell those condos, but it also just moves the problem around to another neighbourhood.

Home values
The noise and toxicity of these trains will lower the value of homes near or along the tracks.

Trashing the green neighbourhoods
Last but most importantly, this is yet another example of short-term FUBAR thinking. What other city on the planet—with aspirations to be "world-class"—would start running freight trains through its most green and beautiful part?
—LA Patten, Halifax

Political privacy

With Canada's election just around the corner, I'm concerned that our political parties are not protecting the personal information they gather from us. I believe that they should be made subject to federal privacy laws. Political parties should follow the same rules that companies have to—it's only fair.

Privacy matters regardless of who we vote for. In this election, I believe all the parties should commit to protecting our privacy and I'll be looking to see if they do when I make my voting decision.
—Morgan Dambergs, Halifax


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