Last month Community Services told Income Assistance recipients who qualify that they must apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). We are hearing that this decision has raised many questions and quite a bit of anxiety.
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.
People who are receiving income assistance (IA) benefits and meet the program conditions can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and will receive the full $2000 monthly payment. Reporting by Robert Devet and Kendall Worth,
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.”
Facing the same threat of coronavirus, a new order issued by Dr. Strang institutes more accountability for nursing homes than for institutions for people with developmental disabilities. That leaves Community Services off the hook, and that is wrong, says human rights lawyer Claire McNeil. As well, protocols around isolation of infected residents need to be revisited.
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.