A problematic story in the Chronicle Herald about a staffer’s transphobic comments causes reporter Rebecca Rose to take an in depth look at the harm they cause and and how to counteract them. She also looks at the significant policy changes that triggered the comments, and how these changes came about. But no matter how good the policy changes and staff training, decarceration and community inclusion remain the best solution, advocates say.

Frequent contributor Alex Kronstein describes how autistic people, as a community, possess a great deal of truth and knowledge that they’ve figured out by themselves and for themselves.  “I know this because I’m autistic myself,” he writes. “Autistic people have plenty of valid knowledge, and we by and large are fed up with non-autistic researchers claiming to have “discovered” this knowledge.”

Recently more than 25 African Nova Scotian organizations in a joint statement asked that the practice of police street checks be stopped immediately. The NS Human Rights Commission meanwhile has claimed African Nova Scotian support for the analysis it is conducting. When asked who these supporters are the Commission essentially tells me that it is none of my business.

As the stories of Donna and Leslie show, when you are on social assistance your caseworker makes all the difference. It’s very hard when your caseworker is not there for you, writes long time poverty advocate Brenda Thompson. “Just as caseworkers evaluate their clients on an annual basis, clients also must be permitted to evaluate their caseworkers on a regular  basis on criteria such as as their treatment of the clients, their knowledge of resources, and their willingness to be true advocates and go to bat for their client.”

While municipalities reliably test the quality of water delivered through the utilities they manage, rural residents who rely on wells are on their own, reports new contributor Fazeela Jiwa. Now a new organization, Rural Water Watch Association (RWW), will respond to rural community members’ calls to test their water quality, addressing concerns about living close to toxic sites like landfills or incinerators.

Kendall Worth’ short letter about people on social assistance being harassed by members of their community who don’t know the realities of lives on welfare from a hole in the ground.