KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – As you all already know, the provincial election was held May 30th and Joanne Bernard, the minister of Community Services, was soundly defeated.
This is not only good news for Dartmouth North residents, this is good news for all the people who have no choice in life but to depend on Income Assistance through the department of Community Services.
Two articles, Kendall Worth: All I want from minister Joanne Bernard for Christmas is $2 million and Kendall Worth on Community Services: Hey Ho, Minister Joanne Bernard has got to go! , speak volumes about why Joanne Bernard losing her seat is something to celebrate.
Over the past four years while the Liberal government was in power, Joanne Bernard was a big disappointment to everyone. Because of her actions during her time in office people continued to have problems.
The rates stayed frozen for two years, and we only got a $20.00 increase the third year. Even though the current budget has not yet been passed, it is looking like no increase in allowances is in the works for the future.
When you spend four years proving yourself to be a minister of broken promises, this is the point where voters lose trust in a MLA. Joanne Bernard did this to herself.
She appeared to me and others who I talked to in the community as someone who did not have the courage to make change. She made the lives of people on income assistance go from bad to worse. I have also heard of people living in her own constituency go to her office for help without results.
Bernard made people in Nova Scotia believe that the Employment Support and Income Assistance program was being transformed. But we saw no real results from that transformation. She kept everything that was happening in that regards a secret.
Although I know it is true, I find it hard to believe that she once was on welfare herself. She talked about it during her campaign back in 2013. However during her time in office, she had the opportunity to make much needed changes to the system. Instead she showed herself being cold-hearted, and uncaring.
Now it is time to put Joanne Benard behind us all and work for real transformation of the ESIA system.
It is the hope of everyone who Joanne Bernard has hurt during her time in office that our next minister of Community Services will be a caring person who does a much better job for the people.
Kendall Worth is the chair of the Benefits Reform Action Group (BRAG)
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