Train travel angel
On July 22, I was one of dozens of passengers who showed up at the Via Rail station in Halifax for the scheduled 1 pm departure of The Ocean for Montreal.
After repeated announcements of delays, Via finally allowed us to board the train at about 11 pm Alas, the train never left the station and we were forced to disembark at 7 o’clock the next morning.
However, the purpose of this letter is not to take Via to task for the abominable way in which they handled this situation. Instead, I want to publicly recognize the acts of kindness shown towards me (a senior traveling alone) by a fellow passenger seated on the bench facing me.
All I know about this angel of kindness was that she, with her companion, was traveling to Bathurst, NB So to her I express my sincere thanks and appreciation. Thank you very much!
W. C. Fraser, Montreal
Precarious telephone pole
On June 10, a truck struck the telephone pole on our corner lot, knocking it onto our roof. Emergency services, Nova Scotia Power (NSP) and Heritage Gas were all on the scene. My family was kept safe outside while the situation was resolved.
However, a month and a half later, the pole is still not securely in place. I called 311, who told me to call NSP. I called NSP, who told me they had no work order noted for the pole and that it could be “owned by Aliant.” NSP said they’d call me back, but they haven’t.
I’m very concerned that another vehicle or a storm could easily knock the pole back over onto our home. The pole is currently precariously stuck in a pile of dry dirt and sticks while the concrete hole where it should go sits unused, with a crosswalk flag in it to keep anyone from tripping on it.
Any help would be greatly appreciated as I don’t seem to be able to make progress.
Jennifer Derwey, Dartmouth
Papal tour problematic
Re: John Moore’s Aug. 2 letters, “Casting stones at Pope.” You have somewhat of a different opinion of the Pope’s visit. It is sad that this “historical pilgrimage” had to take place at all and only after the Pope had to be repeatedly asked for an apology.
Mr. Moore said we all need healing after two difficult years living with COVID. I would say intergenerational trauma caused by the Canadian government and the Catholic Church is nowhere near a fair comparison. COVID affects all of society; residential schools were only out to assimilate Indigenous Peoples.
Mr. Moore also said that the Pope is truly God’s representative on Earth. (I assume he thinks he speaks for everyone.) He also said that the Catholic Church is only as good as those running it, and that it’s not God who did this. So, if the Pope is truly God’s representative on Earth, and there was in fact a Pope when this abuse by the Church took place, then God’s representative on Earth was running the Church when the abuse took place. Just following his logic.
I also find interesting his use of the word “sully.” Sully: Damage the purity or integrity of; parade. Sounds exactly like what the Church did to the children under its “care.”
I wonder if Mr. Moore has had children removed from him, beaten for speaking their language, their hair cut and clothes taken away. Maybe left in an unmarked grave with no opportunity for closure? Would he be as forgiving?
I do agree with him and hope that reconciliation and true healing will now take place. If the Pope’s visit gives comfort to some people in their healing, that’s great, People will heal in their own way. But I cannot agree with his last line. We should never forget.
Michael Paul, HRM
Play hardball with Hockey Canada
During the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage hearings last week, Hockey Canada CEO Scott Smith stubbornly claimed he was the best person to formulate and execute the changes needed to steer the organization in the right direction.
During the hearings, MPs from all four federal parties asked him if he was prepared to resign, based on how he and the organization’s executive had mishandled the sexual assault allegations. He said he is the most qualified person to take Hockey Canada in a new direction, so he is not prepared to resign.
My recommendation to the standing committee is to challenge Mr. Smith, the Hockey Canada executive and the board of directors to resign and reapply for their current positions. If they are all convinced they are the best candidates to lead Hockey Canada, then they should be confident the standing committee will agree, and they will be reinstated.
Victims’ rights advocate and former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy would likely suggest that reinstating these people is not an option, based on what he said after last Tuesday’s parliamentary hearings. He said: “The same people with a new plan expecting the same results is the definition of insanity. Enough is enough already.”
The problem is that the standing committee doesn’t have the authority to fire these people. Their only recourse is to permanently cut off all federal government funding to Hockey Canada, strongly recommend that all corporate sponsors cease supporting the organization, and encourage minor hockey associations across Canada to sever their partnerships with Hockey Canada and stop paying registration fees.
Without this significant financial support, Hockey Canada, as it exists today, will be forced to close its doors.
Maybe then we could hope to see the emergence of a new Hockey Canada with fresh, progressive ideas that we can all be proud of, on and off the ice.
Earl Jessiman, certified hockey professional, Bedford