Letters to the editor, October 17, 2019

The protest vote
It's great to see young folks around the world standing up to protest the environmental destruction of our planet ("Young people aren't fucking around with the climate," The City section story by Mallory Burnside-Holmes, September 19 ). As a teen in 1970, I was inspired by David Suzuki to get involved in the environment to help clean up one industrial site at a time. In the late 1980s, I stood up and convinced the Cities of Toronto and Ontario that a regulatory framework to assess or remediate contaminated sites is critical to preserving our environment. They listened, and asked that I help write that framework.

Most of us know the useless Cogswell Interchange leading to downtown Halifax. But did you know the Interchange was constructed in 1969 by a developer who had city approval to knock down historic buildings along the waterfront in order to build an elevated freeway called Harbour Drive? As the Cogswell interchange was being constructed, people found out about the freeway and began to protest. The mayor and council of Halifax had to hold an emergency meeting. They voted six to four to stop the project. Can you imagine what our waterfront would be like today if people had not protested?

My advice to the young: get involved, keep protesting, be patient but persistent and make sure you vote in the federal election this Monday, October 21. Your voice will be heard! — Peter Lund, Dartmouth

Political oversight
I read the "Voting for the planet" article by Isabelle Hurley in last week's issue, and the adjoining "Meet your candidates" list of candidates to vote for. I was surprised and disappointed that Bill Wilson, the Animal Protection Party candidate for the Halifax riding, was omitted from the list. Bill is a dedicated advocate for sustainable policies and climate action. Surely he merits a mention in an article about voting with the Earth in mind! I sincerely hope this was an error and not a deliberate omission. I hope you will give Bill the space he deserves in your next issue. Anne Marie, Halifax

The media should not mislead their audience, but that is what The Coast has done with the list of candidates. Only four parties are listed for each of the ridings in Halifax. One of the excluded parties, the Animal Protection Party of Canada, is on the ballot for the riding of Halifax. What makes this wrong is that the list's title—"Meet your candidates"—suggests to readers that the candidates listed are the only ones on the ballot.

The APPC's progressive multi-issue platform is designed to stand up for the people, environment and animals. To help protect our environment, the APPC wants to end animal agriculture subsidies, shift those billions of dollars to plantbased operations and help those farmers who wish to transition to sustainable plant-based agriculture.

Voters should have the opportunity to know about the APPC, so they can look into the platform if they wish. However, that is unlikely to happen if media suggests that only some of the parties are on the ballot. —Bill Wilson, Animal Protection Party of Canada candidate for the riding of Halifax

That's a bad cut
Andrew Scheer's promise to cut 25 percent out of the foreign aid budget by cutting aid to middle-income and upper-income countries overlooks the fact that two-thirds of people in extreme poverty live in the middle-income countries ("Go ahead and cut," Reply all letter from Kris Larsen, October 10 ). They do not have Canada's AAA credit rating to be able to strengthen their social safety nets by doling out election candy. There are no such nets for the extreme poor. We live in an interconnected world. The poor are often forced to adopt unfriendly environmental practices and are inevitably the most impacted by climate change-related shocks and the ripple effects of increased poverty and strife. There will be an unprecedented displacement of people. Whose door will they be banging on, Mr. Scheer? Global security will continue to be elusive as long as the world's gross disparities remain off the political agenda; the cries of the displaced and dispossessed go unheard; and justice is reserved for a privileged few. —Stephen St. Denis, by email

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