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Kendall Worth: No hard census deadline for locked down Nova Scotians who can’t afford Internet

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Last Sunday I wrote about the difficulties of filling out the census form when you are on a low income and in the middle of a lockdown. I mentioned that there is no internet access when the libraries are closed, and not being able to sit down with people to support you when you live with learning disabilities or have trouble dealing with computers.  

Here is a link to that letter: Census deadline causes anxiety among some people living in poverty.

Since my open letter on Sunday got posted, I have been in touch with my local MP Andy Fillmore. 

Just this morning he informed me on Twitter saying that if people need more time to fill out the census they can take more time. This news is a relief for those who are part of the community of people I advocate for through my journalism. Anxiety has within the community was rising left and right about this issue over this past week or so. 

We are in a lockdown again and people need to be able to rest easy. Filling out this census form is not something people need right now. 

The question remains, how can those who cannot afford to have internet at home have access to filling that form out?’

According to Andy Fillmore’s office there is a number you can call to request a paper copy and another number you can call for help if you have questions.

Even though you can call these numbers, it is important to remember that  many welfare recipients do not have phones because they cannot afford them. 

What are the ones who do not have phones or the internet supposed to do?

Meanwhile, the CMHA points out that an official announcement about all this would be much better than a tweet.

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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