What happens when a Mi’kmaw and settler university student share car rides on their way to university and other places? They talk, and the settler learns some hard lessons about colonial oppression, systemic racism and white privilege. “One Saturday afternoon when we happened to be together, Flo shared a very personal story about why she finds it difficult to eat when she is in a social food sharing situation.”
Olivia Katz on the challenges she and other poor people faced long before we even heard of Covid. “These are not recent discoveries, Stephen McNeil knows all of this, he just doesn’t care. These outcomes are a matter of policy, his policy.”
We have been reporting on the release of the Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Nova Scotia for many years now. And year after year the news is grim.
41,370 children, one in four, live in poverty in Nova Scotia. For children under six that number is actually almost one in three!
It’s hard to fathom how politicians can shrug off these horrendous numbers, especially given that we know that solutions exist, and all it takes is political will.
“How many more children are going to be left behind before we will make it our collective priority to end child poverty,” JoAnna LaTulippe-Rochon asks in a presentation on child poverty in Cape Breton. She speaks of parents living in rat-infested homes, skipping meals in order to feed their children.
“Being poor was like a fulltime job, and going through it, I realized how inaccessible the whole process was, and I had this burning desire to make it easier for others.” Meet Laura Fisher, on social assistance not that long ago, and now a master’s student at Acadia.
A new booklet recently issued by Statistics Canada highlights the huge economic gap between Black people and the general population in terms of employment, income and child poverty. The situation is bad in Canada, and compared to other large cities the situation is especially bad in Halifax.
More people will qualify for the NS Child Benefit program, and that’s a good thing. But there is nothing in the provincial budget to improve the lives of people on income assistance and their kids.
Since 1989 child poverty in Nova Scotia decreased by less than one percent. One in four kids lives in poverty, for kids younger than 2 years, that is one in three! Let that sink in. And numbers for African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaw kids are much higher again.
Media release: “When a child is hungry; when they aren’t sure where home will be at the end of the day; when they don’t have adequate clothing; it’s very hard for them to focus on learning,” says Wozney. “The evidence is clear that on average, children living in poverty experience worse academic outcomes and are twice as likely to drop out of school. They also have a much higher chance of developing a mental health issue.”
A letter from a substitute teacher somewhere in rural Nova Scotia. “A hungry stomach accentuates resentment and a sense of frustration; why worry about equations when your stomach is grumbling or you can feel the wind tug on your sweater, climb down your spine with every breeze?”