Christine Saulnier, Nova Scotia Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, looks at the different ways politicians propose to address poverty in Nova Scotia during this election: wage increases, social programs, tax-based incentives, or a job.

The Liberal plan to cut taxes will not benefit the very poor, while the money could have been used to raise the income assistance rates or reduce the clawbacks, she writes, while simply saying that “the best social program is still a job” ignores the many people who simply are unable to work. Meanwhile, the NDP proposal to raise minimum wage to $15 definitely helps people who are struggling to make ends meet.

New contributor Lila Mosher writes about how she became dependent on income assistance unexpectedly. There’s the lack of money, obviously, and on top of that there are all the mean spirited people who criticize and judge you without knowing your story.

In an open letter to the Premier a group charges that government isn’t serious about supporting persons with developmental disabilities who are looking for community-based solutions rather than being warehoused in large institutions. he Department of Community Services isn’t even meeting targets it set earlier and that were publicly endorsed by minister Joanne Bernard, the letter states.

This week we feature a poem by David Huebert about the colonization of the Halifax Commons. April was poetry month, and we managed to not publish one single poem. But never mind, it’s May, and we have another poetic surprise planned for next weekend.

The Benefits Reform Action Group (BRAG), a coalition of welfare recipients and poverty advocates is not happy with last week’s provincial budget. “Good Grief!” writes the group in a press release. “While announcing tax cuts for the middle class and businesses it has not provided a single penny for the poorest of the poor in Nova Scotia—the people in need and reliant on social assistance.”

This week’s brand new weekend video shows highlights from the recent town hall tour organized by a coalition of individuals and groups opposed to the Alton Gas development. It seems only shareholders and politicians are in favour of the Alton Gas project. Everybody else, not so much.