Monday, 20 August 2018

Day two of Community Services deputy minister’s testimony at the human rights enquiry: When it comes to community living, government inaction is the operative word, and that hasn’t substantially changed with the end of the so-called moratorium on small options homes. Individuals continue to languish in large institutions, and parents continue to worry about what will happen to their loved ones when they die.

Community Services deputy minister Lynn Hartwell testified all day today at the human rights inquiry into the lack of community living options for people living with disabilities. We learned that very little has been accomplished since the department published its disability roadmap some four years ago. She’ll be back at it tomorrow, and so will the NS Advocate.

The mother of a man who lives at Quest Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Lower Sackville told a human rights tribunal today that the institution is the right place for her son, who lives with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. “Joey is happy at Quest. He has a beautiful room, a beautiful yard. It’s quiet. He goes on outings,” said Betty Rich. “Small option homes aren’t a good solution for Joey. It may well be that small options works for others, but I am the mother, and I must make my own calls.”

This weekend’s video is a short and sweet CBC news report by Elizabeth McMillan on two Mi’kmaq teens from the community of L’sitkuk, Bear River First Nation, who are getting an opportunity to work in Kejimkujik National Park with Todd Labrador. Labrador is one of the few people in Canada still making traditional birchbark canoes. Also, a portion of a longer interview with Labrador by Silver Donald Cameron.

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has ruled that Community Services cannot refuse to pay a welfare recipient for suitable housing just because the rent exceeds the shelter allowance. We talk to Dalhousie Legal Aid lawyer lawyer Claire McNeil, who argued the case, and community legal aid worker Fiona Traynor, about the scope of this milestone decision.