With the election season in full swing, it is time for another round of the Wellness Within Election Toolkit. Here are some questions for provincial MLA candidates when they arrive at your doorstep, or call. You can also email/facebook/tweet these questions to them!
- NS has some of the highest rates of remand (pretrial custody) in the country. How will you reduce the expense and harm of high rates of remand? Will you commit to eliminating the creation of new jails and the development of alternatives to incarceration?
- NS disproportionately incarcerates Black and Indigenous people. 15% of women in prisoners in this province are Indigenous. What will you do to address racism in the justice system?
- Poverty and housing insecurity cause criminalization. What is your approach to addressing the housing crisis in this province?
- Almost every person behind bars has experienced violence and trauma, and most use substances to cope. Drug criminalization and a poisoned drug supply put everyone at risk of injury and death. Will you commit to ensuring access to safe supplies of opioids?
- Every year, 100 babies are taken from their parents at birth through a discriminatory and traumatic process called “birth alerts”. Nova Scotia is one of only a handful of provinces that has yet to ban the practice. The province claims it is reviewing this process, but has not provided a timeline or details about how it is conducting the review. What will you do to address the harms caused by birth alerts?
- A disproportionate number of people who are incarcerated have been involved in the child “welfare” system as children. This system also disproportionately targets Black and Indigenous families. How will you work to transfer responsibility for keeping children safe to African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaw communities? What resources will you ensure are provided?