Sunday, 16 June 2019

ACORN Nova Scotia asked municipal candidates in North End Halifax, Dartmouth East, Dartmouth Centre and Spryfield where they stand on issues that matter to people who live in poverty. Things like affordable housing, slum landlords, and pay day loan sharks. Here are their responses.

Kendall Worth on the hard work that being on social assistance entails, and how you gain an assortment of valuable experiences that you should be able to list on your resume. We’re talking about skills like economical shopping, policy research and building community. And you have to be a real mathematical genius to make ends meet.

Kendall Worth returns to the topic of paid poverty advocacy work, and how to make it a win win for everybody. It can be done. Business plan attached!

This week’s featured video is Cottonland, a 2006 documentary about recovering addict Eddie Buchanan and the damage the prescription painkiller oxycontin is doing to his friends and neighbors in Glace Bay, Cape Breton. It’s also about the shutting down of the coal mines. And it’s about a bunch of exceptional people, loving parents, funny, with big hearts. They’re also thieves who do or did terrible things.

Some excellent points were made at a well-attended press conference organized by low income people in the North End on the topic of poverty and the municipal election. It fell a bit on deaf ears, though, as just one reporter and one municipal candidate made an appearance.

A 65-year old New Glasgow woman who suffers from severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivities has been ordered to vacate the only house where she can live in relative safety. She has been unable to find an alternative that doesn’t put her health at risk, and desperately wants the Housing Authority to abandon its eviction notice.

Our series “Lives on welfare” continues. Meet Bernice. She cut her power bill, only to see Community Services deduct the savings from her monthly cheque. “What do you do? I am just exhausted, from arguing. I am taking my frustration out on my worker, but she has no control, so she takes the crappy end of it. But if you are so frustrated she is the one you vent too, and I keep apologizing to her, I am sorry, I know it’s not your fault.”