Thursday, 18 July 2019
Poverty Weekend Video

Weekend video: Below the line

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax): This week’s featured video explores the lives of five young Nova Scotians, some who work, others who are on welfare. They all live below the poverty line, and life isn’t easy.

“We visit our parents a lot less than we would like to. We don’t go out and do things. We don’t go to restaurants. We don’t go out shopping.We just sort of exist in our own little world of work, sleep…”  Kati.

I don’t know who made the video, I think it’s just a guy with a phone, but that doesn’t seem to matter at all. I got hooked.

We meet five different people, all pretty young, and you get the sense these are friends and acquaintances of the director. He asks a couple of questions and just lets the camera (phone) record it all.  Coming to think of it, he does on film what we try to do with the lives on welfare series. Don’t judge, just let people tell their stories.

“I don’t have any savings, for starters, but then I suppose not a lot of people do. You don’t have the same peace of mind that you do when you are financially secure. More of your waking thoughts are focused on the necessities, or even thinking about them, worrying about them. It’s a bit of a drain of energy in that sense.”  Lisa.

In the intro our mystery director explains that like his friends he isn’t paid enough, but his life is relatively problem-free because he moved back in with his parents. He also tells us what drove him to make the documentary.

“I realized how difficult things could be when I was talking with a friend at the call centre and she admitted she had to go to the food bank recently. And I sat there and I was like, holy crap, you work at the same job as me, and you work more than me, and you had to go to the food bank! And that opened my eyes, hang in a second, there is a real problem here. Minimum wage is not a living wage, and you can’t do it on your own”

He is right.  And you should definitely check out this video.

If you can, please support the Nova Scotia Advocate so that it can continue to cover issues such as poverty, racism, exclusion, workers’ rights and the environment in Nova Scotia. 

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