We rightly hear a lot about the COVID-19 related risks faced by people incarcerated in Nova Scotia’s jails and prisons. What is more or less forgotten is that the 800 to 900 citizens labeled as living with disabilities who live in institutions in this province are facing the very same risks.
Today Kelly Regan, Minister of Community Services, joined the daily COVID-19 government press conference to discuss what her department is doing to help income assistance recipients and other low income people. Not very much at all, it turns out.
Open letter: At this time the only adequate defence to the spread of COVID-19 inside our jails, and consequent preventable deaths, is strategic decarceration — i.e., ensuring that admissions and numbers of prisoners held in facilities are as low as possible, consistent with public safety.
We talk with Wendy Lill, chair of the Community Homes Action Group, to understand what the provincial budget means for people labeled with developmental disabilities who are locked up in institutions. or at home, waiting for an opportunity to live in the community like you and I. It doesn’t look good.
Open Letter: Women’s Wellness Within is calling on the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services to follow British Columbia and Manitoba in ending the discriminatory and racist practice of issuing birth alerts for “at risk” mothers and their babies.
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.
Kendall Worth tackles what he hopes to see at the upcoming session of the provincial legislature. He singles out affordable housing and rent control.
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.
A letter from the Community Society to End Poverty to Finance minister Karen Casey with recommendations for the upcoming provincial budget to raise incomes for people on income assistance and deal with the rental crisis.
“The current government adopted the Roadmap Report and a 10-year time frame for significantly increasing community-based supported living options while decreasing reliance on large institutions. So far, however, the allocation of resources from government needed to create community capacity has been woefully inadequate. Wait lists for services continue to grow – from 1100 in 2015 to 1300 in 2017 to nearly 1500 last year. This is because the badly needed investments by government have not been forthcoming.”