Kendall Worth speaks with NS NDP leader Gary Burrill and others about CERB. Early on in the COVID lockdown people on income assistance who held part time jobs were told by Community Services to apply for CERB. For the time being they receive more money, but there have been lots of headaches.

“The way that we’re looking at it, regardless of whether there’s four residents or 40 or 400, you’re taking children away from their families. What the press release says is that it will house children from two to 18 years old. No two year old should be removed from their family. No parent wants to have their child sent to live somewhere else, they will only agree when there are no alternatives provided, says Patricia Neves, Acting Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Association for Community Living.

At present, there are many hundreds of vulnerable people living in large and small congregate settings across the province, many with challenging physical and mental health needs. And there are chronic staff shortages being further exacerbated by the pandemic. So how do we go forward?

We believe one of the key ways to do this is to support the people caring for them. We need to recognize the essential role they are playing with our population during these uncertain and frightening Covid-19 times.

A quick story on the lack of support for people on social assistance during this godawful pandemic. “I have multiple chronic illnesses that put me in the high risk category from COVID-19. Not just from the illness itself, but also, if I do get sick it will likely worsen, maybe permanently, all the illnesses I’m already struggling with.”