Letters to the editor, July 5, 2018 | Opinion | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Letters to the editor, July 5, 2018

These are the letters and comments from the print edition.

Tony Ince's failing

Dear premier Stephen McNeil, I am very disappointed with your continued acceptance of cabinet minister Tony Ince's poor performance as the provincial representative for African Nova Scotians. The September 21, 2017 mandate you wrote for minister Ince includes creating a dynamic Black community through issues such as electoral boundary reform, employment, training, culture and heritage support. Minister Ince reports to you directly, so it is your responsibility to ensure that the mandate is carried out. Ince has failed to establish African Nova Scotians as a distinct culture and heritage and it is totally unacceptable. The Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs failed to actively participate in the training and employment process with the Irving Halifax Shipyards, yet minister Ince appears in publicity photos for the shipyard. OANSA has also failed to support the Black Educators Association in its efforts to further education and training throughout the Black community as mandated by BEA. To allow such blatant disregard of your mandate from minister Ince is proof of the ineffectiveness of the Liberal government in working on behalf of African Nova Scotians. Making good on your promises regarding African Nova Scotians would not only help the Black community, but strengthen Liberal support at the polls. ­—C. Brian Mintus, East Preston

The EAC in action

Thank you to The Coast and Jacob Boon for your thorough, if belated, account of events surrounding the Ecology Action Centre's firing of marine coordinator Susanna Fuller ("Unsustainable ecosystem," cover story, June 28). This setback for environmental activism and policy making in Atlantic Canada needs exposure and discussion. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Most dismaying is the response of the centre's board and management. In their public statements, they resemble nothing so much as practiced bureaucrats deflecting news of malfeasance: the mealy-mouthed generalities and non-answers from managing director Marla McLeod and board co-chairs Candace Stephenson and Denis Leclair; the outright refusal of policy director Mark Butler even to discuss the issue; the reflex use of "privacy concerns" to shut down discussion of policy; the refusal to initiate an independent review of the actions and decisions that led to this mess. Susanna Fuller is resourceful. I hope she will take this opportunity to form a new organization to pursue the important work she has done, free from the small-mindedness that seems to afflict those in charge at the EAC. What a shame it has come to this. —Parker Donham, Kempt Head, NS

As a longtime member and volunteer who attended the Ecology Action Centre AGM, I found your portrayal of the situation sensationalistic. You made the AGM seem much more divisive than it was. Many of the members' points at the meeting were about the consequences of unsustainable growth, including rendering inadequate the expansion of their newly renovated (and prize-winning) green building. Other good points included the risk of introducing new hierarchies into an egalitarian structure, and the importance of adequately supporting all seven projects at EAC. I am proud to support of an organization with this kind of solid leadership and one that has the courage to discuss thoughtfully a subject like this at an open forum like an AGM. —Janet Ross, Halifax

Council at bat

City council granting code exemptions allowing the Willow Tree tower project to proceed was a classic swing and a miss. There was an opportunity before council to hit a triple play by supporting the Centre Plan. It levels the playing field for developers. Stay inside the lines of the Centre Plan colouring book and get fast-track approval. Community groups have their concerns respected because their vision for Halifax is embodied in the plan. Council benefits by saving countless hours of unproductive time attempting to make sense of a stream of proposals requiring exemptions. We can make the city we love work better. Council, at the next exemption hearing, please vote solidly for the Centre Plan. —Claude, Halifax

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