We talk with an older woman on income assistance who, as a result of a cut to her special needs allowance, has lost her ability to go to medical appointments and grocery trips. But we saved the tax payer some $50 a month. This is what austerity looks like in Nova Scotia.
Kendall Worth raises the alarm about an unusually high number of income assistance clients who have seen their shelter allowances cut.
NS Human Rights Board chair Walter Thompson ruled that the Nova Scotia government has indeed discriminated against Beth MacLean, Sheila Livingstone and Joey Delaney, three people who were institutionalized against their will. When I first heard the news I thought it was a wonderful victory. Now that I have read the decision I think it mostly sucks, but it isn’t all bad.
Here is why.
Kendall Worth on annual reviews, the stress, the humiliation, and the importance of staying calm, cool and collected. Bring a friend or an advocate, he says.
“If we care for our children and friends who live with disabilities, we need to broaden our horizons beyond the school. We need to come to terms with the fact that families with members with disabilities are trapped in an ableist society, one which is also deeply heterosexist, racist and classed,” writes Nancy Spina..
The Department of Community Services continues to penalize family members, including children, for actions that are entirely out of their control. And it does so despite a Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruling that called the practice unfair.
Kendall Worth finds it difficult not to get frustrated with Community Services’ lack of progress in making things better for people on Income Assistance.
Kendall Worth on romance, poverty and a man on social assistance and a woman talking on a bus. “The woman asked, so why are you not married and have kids?.”
Kendall Worth on the Community Services transformation project: “We understand things don’t happen overnight. However the length of time this transformation has been taking to date is concerning and frustrating to people in the community. Right now we are five years into the transformation and very few problems for people who depend on this system have gotten resolved. Why is the length of this transformation process taking so long for people to see positive results?”
Late last year I received a response to a Freedom of Information request that has all significant information greyed out. It’s a presentation about cost savings as a result of the Community Services Transformation Project. If a government initiative potentially will save money, possibly at the detriment of service levels, shouldn’t we be allowed to know how so, and how much?