Brenda Thompson, author of the excellent “A Wholesome Horror, Poor Houses of Nova Scotia”, was sent a bit of on an oral history account of the life of an entire family forced into a Nova Scotia poor house sometime before World War II. “He said he never knew nothing about his family as he was taken away from his parents and siblings at such a young age. He thought he was all alone.”

There’s a wonderful new book on the history or poor houses and poor farms in Nova Scotia, written by poverty activist and frequent NS Advocate contributor Brenda Thompson. Things are better now, of course, but in a way not much has changed for people who are very poor.

Them That’s Not profiles single mothers on welfare all across Canada. The documentary was made twenty five years ago, but nothing has changed. Welfare is still punitive and degrading. Benefits are still insufficient. It still sucks to be on it. Solidarity and mutual support still go strong.