There is a severe housing crisis in Halifax and many other Nova Scotia towns. As in most any crisis, it’s painful for everybody, but the very poor, and especially also the racialized poor, are bearing the brunt. However, when you listen to Housing Nova Scotia senior bureaucrats at yesterday’s Community Services Standing Committee you do not get a sense of urgency.

PSA: The right to food protects Canadians from food insecurity and hunger. However, this does not obligate the Canadian government to feed citizens. This panel will examine the practicality of harnessing private sector food supply chains to provide affordable and nutritious food as well as assessing policy mechanisms that can protect Canadians against hunger and malnutrition.

When it comes to homelessness and a lack of affordable housing Halifax is not much better off than larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver. John Clarke draws on his long experience as a poverty and housing activist in Ontario to consider what avenues of direct action will allow us to make real gains.

Food banks are a wonderful institution, and in these times of austerity-induced suffering they need our full support. That said, food banks are not very efficient in getting food to hungry families. “We found that most food-insecure households delayed bill payments and sought financial help from friends and family, but only 21.1% used food banks,” the authors of a recent study state.