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Kendall Worth: Mind your own business and stop stigmatizing poor people!

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Ever since the beginning of COVID-19 income assistance recipients have told me that they’re getting contacted by people they have not spoken with in years. These people are asking questions like 

  • Is COVID-19 going to teach you that sitting at home and being lazy is ok?
  • Are you going to stop looking for employment because of COVID-19?
  • How much of that CERB money you get is going into the liquor store cash register? 

Overall, these conversations have not been very good. As I said before, people need to learn to mind their own business.

Many income assistance recipients all through the pandemic are engaging in volunteer activities, through Feed Nova Scotia and local food banks, etc. They are following the rules and practice social distancing while volunteering.

Some of these people who are supposedly concerned are financially better off. They suggest, and not in a nice way, that people on income assistance should invest in a hobby to keep them busy while self-isolating during COVID-19. They say that this is why places like Kent Building Supplies, hardware stores and gardening stores are busy during COVID-19. People are looking for projects to keep them busy while they are off work, they say.

The way income assistance recipients live in small apartments means there is really not much room to pursue a hobby.  Plus they don’t have money for those things. Remember, only very few assistance recipients qualify for the CERB.

I say, mind your own business and stop the stigma!

Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.

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