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.
On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Halifax first voice activists and their allies called for all levels of government to stop their empty tinkering and finally start addressing poverty in a meaningful way. Start by listening carefully to people with a lived experience of poverty, was the message, and put your money where your mouth is.
First voice welfare activists in Nova Scotia are trying very hard to raise awareness about the incredibly difficult living conditions they have to deal with on a daily basis. At times it seems like nobody is listening. And nobody is helping them. Lately there have been modest signals that Nova Scotia’s labour movement at least is hearing them. There is a long way to go, but it’s something to build upon.
Some excellent points were made at a well-attended press conference organized by low income people in the North End on the topic of poverty and the municipal election. It fell a bit on deaf ears, though, as just one reporter and one municipal candidate made an appearance.
For people on social assistance in Nova Scotia Community Services minister Joanne Bernard is the grinch who stole Christmas. That was the message of a rally at Victoria Park in downtown Halifax on Thursday.