This year’s budget may be balanced, but the a small group of people on social assistance and their allies who gathered in front of Province House wondered at what cost. Protesters hoped to talk about poverty in Nova Scotia with MLAs entering the House to take part in this afternoon’s budget discussions. Demonstrators were studiously ignored by Liberal and Conservative MLAs, while NDP MLAs stopped to chat.

I had a great time at SMU last week, digging through box after box of newspaper clippings, minutes posters, and brochures related to well over forty years of civil rights, labour and social justice struggles here in Nova Scotia and beyond. Lynn Jones has scissors, and she isn’t afraid to use them. Eighteen boxes of documentation have found a home at the St Mary’s archives.

The politicians who make decisions about people on social assistance should try living on a social assistance budget just for a week, says actress and documentary maker Jackie Torrens. It would make them better politicians. “I don’t extend the challenge in an aggressive way, or an angry way. I sincerely want our MLAs to have a tiny glimpse of what people on social assistance in this province are dealing with on a daily basis,” says Torrens.

Assessed for job readiness by Community Services? Kendall Worth is worried, and he knows what he is talking about because he has been assessed countless times, right from Grade 5 to the present. “If Community Services really wanted to hire a first voice person to design this assessment, I could create this assessment with my own two hands,” says Kendall.