Poverty activist and frequent contributor Brenda Thompson writes about adults only buildings and the law. She was one of the activists who, in the early 1980s, brought about changes that make discrimination based on source of income (welfare) and age (whether you have children) illegal. Landlords openly break that law all the time, and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission just sits back.

Liette Doucet, president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, on the unnecessary and disruptive recommendations contained in the Glaze report and adopted by the Nova Scotia government. “If we are going to fix the problems in our education system we need to work together. The government’s strategy of dividing teachers and parents, and distracting from the real issues facing students does not work.”

The Black Educators Association of Nova Scotia is unhappy with the Glaze report. In a news release it states “The Black Educators Association was neither invited nor requested to give input into this review. BEA’s membership of teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals and community members are appalled to have been omitted from such a process of paramount importance.”

News release by Alton Gas water protectors: “Sipekne’katik/Fort Ellis — Alton Gas has posted signs outside the Treaty Camp at the Shubenacadie River naming water protectors on site as trespassers and criminals. Grassroots Mi’kmaq water protectors have been holding down a protection camp at the Shubenacadie River for nine months to prevent Alton Gas from dumping thousands of tons of salt brine into the sacred river every day. They are outraged by Alton Gas’ bully tactics and intent to resume work on the project without allowing Sipekne’katik to complete its community consultation process.”

Asking teachers and others who work in the school system directly what it is that works in today’s schools and what needs fixing, now there is a novel idea. Members of Educators for Social Justice (ESJ) are doing exactly that. We talk with Pamela Rogers, a member of ESJ, about the questions, the responses so far, and why it is so important to add an undiluted teachers’ voice to the current discussions.

The federal government continues its efforts to deport Abdoul Abdi, the young man who came to Nova Scotia at the age of six, with his sister and two aunts, as jointly-sponsored refugees who fled Somalia. Abdi had asked Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety, to suspend the deportation hearing while the Federal Court hears a constitutional challenge of the Minister’s decision to deport. The Minister refused this request and instead asked the Immigration and Refugee Board to proceed with a deportation hearing, hislawyer writes. 

“For many years I held full time employed positions, mainly minimum wage, and have paid my taxes dutifully to this government. Then something happened in my life that rendered me and my 16 year old daughter homeless. As a last resort I took myself and my daughter to seek refuge at a homeless shelter. My daughter was accepted without a problem, but I was not accepted as I was employed full time.” Lucy MacDonald shares a letter she sent to premier Stephen McNeil about being homeless, and about trying to make ends meet while on Income Assistance.

Episode 2 of the Shades of Green podcast looks at the 500-year old roots of environmental racism in Nova Scotia, and features Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard, James Desmond, Jaden Dixon, El Jones, Lynn Jones, Roger Lewis, Barbara Low, Catherine Martin, and Dr. Ingrid Waldron. Join us as we pull back and take a bit of a long view, exploring some of the histories of colonization on these lands and how these severed relationships with the land connect to the environmental racism we see today.

We featured Brent and Donna, the Sheet Harbour couple on income assistance, in an earlier story about the terrible state of disrepair of their public housing unit. Community Services used to pay their entire power bill, but last week they contacted me because all of a sudden they are saddled with a $60 monthly share. They don’t know why, and they don’t know how they are going to deal with it.