I end my presentation with one request, Ms Knight; Hear what I am saying, look at these examples, and tell me that I am better off.”

Last Friday several members of the Benefit Reform Action Group (BRAG) met with managers at Community Services, at the department’s invitation. Tim Blades was sick and couldn’t make it, but fellow BRAG member Jodi Brown read his letter on his behalf. The letter is addressed to Joy Knight, who is the department’s director of Employment Support Services. Tim tells it as it is.

At last night’s screening of My Week on Welfare in Dartmouth, g=human rights lawyer Vince Calderhead talked about how the much-hyped transformation did not at all make things better for people on income assistance and his fear that special needs allowances will be next.

He also tackles the subject of tactics, don’t waste your time trying to convince bureaucrats, he says.

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!

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.

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.”