Two-tier virus rules
The Trudeau government continues to operate in the “Do as I say, and not as I do” mode. Controlling this coronavirus requires rules, policies and laws, but Justin Trudeau alters these rules behind the scenes to the benefit of his elite friends.
After condemning Canadians who didn’t follow his edict not to travel, Trudeau has made it as hard financially on them as possible to return to their own country. Yet rules are altered to allow NHL players who get traded or drafted and need to come to Canada from the U.S. to play: they only have to isolate for seven days. This change is only for them, but does not apply to Joe Citizen. Apparently, the virus cannot be carried by hockey players needed for a playoff run.
Also the Canadian government sponsored the national women’s softball team and the men’s soccer team, which have gone to Florida to practise and play. They do not fall under their own government’s travel advisory, like Canadian seniors do.
Where is the Snowbird outcry now over this? Where are the self-righteous media now or the all-knowing expert from Dalhousie University?
The science in Canada has been nothing short of great in leading us with best practices against this virus. We need to continue to follow their lead and see the political interference for what it really is. I know where my vote is not going.
Dan Duffy, Malagash
Arbiters of science?
It may be true that the federal government’s carbon tax policy is constitutional, but I wonder when the Supreme Court justices became experts in the climate sciences.
In their decision handed down last week, it says: “Global climate change is real, and it is clear that human activities are the primary cause.” While the first part of this statement is true — as it always was and always will be — the last part has not been established by real scientists who tell the truth in spite of jeopardy to their careers.
The fact is that there is a lot of climate disinformation from various sources, some of which have ulterior motives. When someone like Patrick Moore, a founding member of Greenpeace, comes to see the real truth and writes a couple of books about his conversion, we all would do well to read them.
John Csutorka, Enfield
After seeing on TV that people aged 75 and over could book an appointment for their COVID shot, my wife immediately followed the instructions to get me one.
We were given an appointment for 9:40 a.m. on April 9, and that’s when the process became a nightmare. She was required to fill out a confirmation online, which was done accurately. The computer would not accept the confirmation sheet although she tried repeatedly to forward it. After several unsuccessful attempts, she was notified that the appointment had been lost.
We called the assigned number for assistance numerous times from mid-afternoon until their closing time at 10 p.m. without success, as it was continually busy.
The following morning, we went back on the website and we were advised that all available appointment spaces had been filled.
I am a RCMP and military veteran on home care. Under the previous Liberal premier those in our category were a priority. This is also the case in most provinces.
Ron S. Seney, New Germany
Get past Easter
Re: the Amherst mayor’s concern about New Brunswick’s refusal to lift border restrictions right now. I have friends and family in Amherst and friends in New Brunswick who are all concerned and inconvenienced by the border restrictions.
The April 19 deadline to reopen the Atlantic Bubble is set to ensure that the Easter holiday goes well. Stick this one out — one more family-oriented holiday get-together — and hope it goes well and we could be in for an OK summer. Makes sense, really, when you think about it. Better times are hopefully around the corner.
Karl Peters, Garlands Crossing
Re: The “Stop Bill 4 campaign” launched by the Concerned Private Landowner Coalition: Better the “Halifax activists” making their voices heard than the Halifax landowners who invade the country on weekends showing little regard for the permanent residents.
They “drive” the country roads on their ATVs, tear up private woodlot roads and trails, create big muddy spots on private land, cut trees, run over sensitive areas indiscriminately and act like they are above the law.
As a landowner, I am sick to death of huge clearcuts and habitat destruction and very disappointed that the government backed down on Bill 4 and continues to be bullied by the destructive forestry industry.
The “activists” — from Halifax and all others — are merely trying to ensure a future of diversity for generations to come. Despite the fine words, this government has shown a real lack of backbone.
Dianne Powell, Wentworth Station
Money grows on trees
Noting that offensive, fear-mongering ad against the Biodiversity Act in the paper on March 20, I couldn’t help but wonder where the money came from.
Jim Vibert’s March 25 column provided some answers. I am disappointed that our new government has caved in to such blatant pressure, and can’t help but wonder what other pressures were applied to defeat the bill.
This does not bode well for the renewed promises on the environment that came out of the Liberal leadership race. I also read Bill Black’s puffery piece on Owls Head last week, and still fear for the outcome of that nefarious scheme. If it goes ahead, the messages will be clear: “Business as usual” and “Wealth Trumps all” — pun intended. Has this pandemic failed to teach us anything about looking after this planet and the public good?
Elinor Benjamin, Dartmouth
Accessibility bill flawed
I am concerned about Bill 47, introduced on March 24 by Municipal Affairs Minister Brendan Maguire.
The bill would allow municipalities to make accessibility grants to private businesses. In effect, the bill introduces new financial pressures on municipalities. Businesses will now urge their councils to create a budget line for the grants or to move accessibility funds from public and non-profit facilities.
I strongly support the goal of making Nova Scotia fully accessible to persons with disabilities by 2030. But any private-sector financial subsidies for the transition should come from the province. We should not be in a situation where some communities become more accessible than others, or where businesses are drawn to richer communities that can offer more generous accessibility grants.
This bill was introduced at the request of the Halifax Regional Municipality.
The minister told the House of Assembly that the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities supports the bill. But I would be surprised if most individual municipalities actually agree with it.
Tom Urbaniak, professor of political science, Cape Breton University
Spotty service in N.S.
Folks from away are being encouraged to come to Nova Scotia to work from home. Great. I understand that they are suggesting going to some rural areas. Great.
Perhaps they should be told that cell phone service is suspect in rural areas as well as the corridor highways. Internet service is practically impossible in some areas like Cumberland County and parts of Cape Breton, as well as from room to room in a municipal residence.
Welcome to Nova Scotia.
Harold Macpherson, HRM
Don’t envy Florida
Re: the recent letters from Snowbird Doug Appt: I’m sure I speak for many Nova Scotians who have stayed home this past winter, when I ask him, for all our sakes, to please stop advising us on how best to run the provincial response to COVID.
After all, we should all realize that the death rate per 100,000 in Nova Scotia is 3.2 whereas in Florida, it’s currently at about 160. Since Florida depends on sales tax (no state income tax) to fund the government, that might explain why the governor has allowed mass gatherings to ensure consumption taxes flow into the treasury.
Since Mr. Appt seems to feel entitled to winter in Florida despite the pandemic, I’d hope that he and other Snowbirds would cease explaining their entitlement to the rest of us. Perhaps if many are wintering in a gated community, they probably don’t realize the many problems with which Florida struggles, and maybe they don’t care.
One memory emblazoned on me is from the Villages before the U.S. election: when the older white gentleman thought yelling “white power” with a fist pump was a grand gesture. This only serves to remind us of the issues faced by the multicultural state. If that is what “freedom” means, then most of us would not like to be associated with it.
In closing, I know Florida has much to offer, but at present, as Gov. Ron DeSantis tries to pass voter-suppression legislation, we should be wary of advice from those who believe his hard-hearted governing style is what we’d wish for in Nova Scotia
John Fraser, New Glasgow