Letters to the editor, February 16, 2017 | Opinion | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Letters to the editor, February 16, 2017

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

American fear

I think after all this hatred in the world, it is more true than ever that we need to start trusting people again, and we need to recognize every man, woman and child as human ("Afraid to pray," The City by Aya Al-Hakim, February 9). We cannot turn to one religion or the other for quick fixes—religion is a personal thing, but combating hatred requires something far deeper or bigger. We need to build bridges and hold hands, and stand firm against hatred. If we do, no weapon can break the circle. Kill them with happiness, colour, light and fundamental human goodness, tolerance and acceptance. 

Donald Trump will need help someday, and if he alienates the nation of Islam, that is one less person or group of people who can help him. If he alienates people who stand with the nation of Islam against his bigoted attitudes, then it will be even harder to find help. America will not be "great" but very, very lonely. 

I find that "Make America great again" is an empty political slogan like saying "Common sense revolution"—which was the rallying cry of Mike Harris' tenure as premier of Ontario (another politician who was known to be somewhat bigoted)—and it would seem futile to apologize if we do not mean it but are only delivering empty words just to sound pretty. I thought America was the good guy who liberated people from the death camps at Auschwitz, and thus it saddens me to see the country create the same kind of thinking which led to the Holocaust in the first place. If we are the "good guys" start acting like it! —Allistair Fraser, Halifax

A line in the code

Dear education minister Karen Casey, deputy minister Sandra MacKenzie and MLA Pam Eyking,

My name is Ryan Campbell. I'm a software developer with a young family, and I live in your riding, Mrs. Eyking. I wanted to write you a very public letter.

I am writing to inform you that due to your continued support for the Nova Scotia Liberal government, I will be volunteering my time, money and skills to whichever candidates possess the best chance of defeating each of you, personally, in the next election. There are many reasons for this:

• The bumbling, incompetent and dishonest campaign to demonize and then impose unfair working conditions upon our teachers. 

• The total lack of concern or even basic understanding of the overcrowded, understaffed environment in which our children attend school (as your own government hilariously pointed out when they closed schools on a moment's notice due to "safety concerns," schools are borderline dysfunctional without teachers propping the system up with their free labour, not to mention the use of their own money for basic supplies).

• Your neglect of our health care system, and your office's complete lack of concern at our inability to obtain basic primary health care for our children.

• Your lack of concern about our riding's poor roads and infrastructure, the cost of post-secondary education, your lack of engagement with the community and your lack of backbone when dealing with your own government.

Most of all, however, it is your very support for this government that disappoints me. Beyond poor policy, it has demonstrated a level of incompetence and basic lack of humanity that should give any competent public servant pause. Its entire policy platform is an insult to baby boomers, our largest demographic group. The Nova Scotia government believes that by cutting primary education, by killing our film industry, by increasing the costs of post-secondary education, by neglecting health care for young families, and by eliminating policies and programs that help the province attract and keep its youth, that it will be able to balance the books—very important come election time—without having to ask baby boomers to sacrifice too much. That's (cynically) assuming baby boomers won't care what you do, as long as you don't affect them directly.

But you forget that they have kids. Kids like me.  I look forward to opposing you next election with all my highly relevant skills—and unlike some, I'll never forget who taught me those skills, and why those people deserve to be honoured, not demonized. Shame on you all. —Ryan Campbell, Eskasoni

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