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Help Halifax know choice

South House Halifax takes to crowdsourcing to get good information on the bus

by Robert Devet

South House is raising money for pro choice advertising on HRM Transit. Note that this is not the ad destined for the bus, it's just a banner.  The actual ads are still to be designed.
South House is raising money for pro choice advertising on HRM Transit. Note that this is not the ad destined for the bus, it's just a banner. The actual ads are still to be designed.

K'JIPUKTUK (Halifax) - A recent wave of anti-choice advertisements on Metro Transit buses has left many people frustrated and angry.

The ads shows a close-up picture of a baby and state "Luc was born today but his life began nine months ago." A URL for the website of the anti-choice group that sponsors the ad is also displayed.

Pattison Sign Group, the company that sells the advertising space inside the buses on behalf of Metro Transit, says that it cannot legally refuse the ads in question because they meet the Canadian code of advertising.

Allison Sparling believes that if the anti-choice ads cannot be turned down, at least Transit riders should be offered a bit of balance.

"Seeing these ads, and seeing the frustration these ads caused, made me realize that we were really looking for something to do about it," says Sparling. "I saw a huge population of pro-choice people who just didn't know what to do about these ads."

Sparling got together with South House Halifax, a student-funded gender justice centre, and is now coordinating a crowd-sourcing campaign to raise money to buy alternative and empowering Metro Transit ads.

The campaign, entitled Help Halifax know choice, is well on its way to meet its target of $4000.

"Our solution is to talk to people to ensure that all the options are there and that they understand what they are legally entitled to do," says Sparling.

Sparling points out that anti-choice ads frequently pretend to be something different.

"Not until you go to their website do you discover that they are not transparent but come with an agenda where they try to discourage abortions," says Sparling.

Some people see the fight for free choice as a victory that has already been won, says Sparling. But she cautions that although true in a sense, people need to remain alert to efforts to take away from that victory.

"I think these [anti-choice] ads crystallize why we still need to react and make sure that the information that is out there is accurate and responsible."

 

Follow Robert Devet on Twitter @DevetRobert

 


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