This morning Tim Blades, anti-poverty advocate, member of BRAG and CASAR, and NS Advocate author, spoke truth to power about the Community Services’ Employment Support and Income Assistance program, better known as welfare or income assistance. Tim did so at Law Amendments, while the Financial Measures Act (this year’s budget) was under the microscope. And oh boy, did he ever tell them a thing or two!
It is budget day in Nova Scotia, and a small group of income assistance recipients gathered in front of Province House to remind fellow Nova Scotians that life on income assistance is unlikely to get much easier as a result.
News release: On Budget Day, Tuesday March 26th at noon, outside of the legislature, members and supporters of the Benefits Reform Action Group will be gathering for an Empty Plate Luncheon. There are 155,000 people in Nova Scotia living below the poverty line (Market Basket Measure). The 250 plates that will be on display will each represent 650 Nova Scotians who cannot afford the basic goods needed to live in this province.
Poverty activist and welfare recipient Tim Blades speaks at the recent screening of My Week on Welfare in Lower Sackville. His message is not the one that Community Services would like you to hear, but it’s rooted in lived experience.
In September several MLAs from all three parties attended a screening of My Week on Welfare at the auditorium of the Nova Scotia Art Gallery in downtown Halifax. This is what Aron Spidle, who is featured in the documentary, told the MLAs. “When a friend asks me to do something with them, the first thing that occurs to me is to ‘how can I get out of this gracefully?’ because most of the time I cannot afford it.”
On Wednesday evening several MLAs from all three parties attended a screening of My Week on Welfare at the auditorium of the Nova Scotia Art Gallery in downtown Halifax. My Week on Welfare is a wonderful documentary, produced by Jackie Torrens, that offers glimpses into the lives of income assistance recipients, families and individuals both, trying to make ends meet on a scandalously low food and shelter budget. The screening was organized by BRAG and CASAR members. What follows is what poverty advocate and Nova Scotia Advocate contributor Tim Blades told the MLAs.
The Benefits Reform Action Group sent a letter to the Community Services Standing Committee, explaining why it is no longer interested in meetings with bureaucrats that go nowhere.
The annual review for people on social assistance is intrusive, stressful, and often unnecessary. But when BRAG complained to the Standing Committee it turned into a lengthy exchange of letters. Enough of that, says BRAG. Here is the story, as told by Kendall Worth.
Chance to see the wonderful documentary My Week on Welfare at the Halifax central library on Spring Garden! Come for the movie, stay for the conversation.
Poverty activist Kendall Worth reminds people attending the Halifax May Day celebration that the desire for dignity and a half decent life is as real and as urgent for people on social assistance as it is for all working people.