featured Poverty Racism

Raymond Sheppard: Pandemic is catastrophic for many African Nova Scotians

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – African Canadians have fewer options to meet the challenges of paying for utilities and such, especially during this time of Covid 19. The large majority of African Canadians are low income because of racism, and the pandemic on on top of this reality is catastrophic for many.

Problems and issues are multiplied when an individual has to pay rent, buy food, is off work, has children, has transportation expenses, medical expenses and so on. Yet many have received disconnection notices from power companies, cell phone companies, internet providers, eviction notices and the list goes on.

Just like the pandemic, the gross insensitivity of racism and injustice never takes a day off. 

Many African Canadians are seriously struggling, but no consideration is given to low income individuals.  

Some had part time employment yet this has ended because of Covid. Many full-time employees are off work due to lock downs in many provinces across Canada.

Many feel hopeless in this so-called land of plenty.

To see their efforts to pay for the bare necessities and try to keep up with utility bills and such is heartbreaking. Many have been forced to take out payday loans at unreasonable interest rates just to survive. 

And as most reasonable people are aware, African Canadians have a higher rate of job loss based again on unfair practices and racism.

Assets and savings are non existent for most African Canadians, yet utility companies, cell phone companies, internet providers, and major grocery chains get rich while their revenues increase ever more.  

As an Indigenous African Nova Scotian elder I receive on average 80 plus emails a day. I am in contact with other African Canadians in Nova Scotia, Ontario, New Brunswick and British Columbia. 

Food Insecurity is real when we are being gouged by large companies that never did give a hoot about low income persons and many made their fortunes over the backs of poverty-stricken people.

See also: Census 2016: African Nova Scotian poverty rates through the roof, unemployment numbers terrible

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