“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.”

Kendall with some thoughts on Christmas, including a handy list of all the soup kitchens serving Christmas dinners. Also some thoughts on a social inclusion tax credit for people on income assistance, much needed help for things like passes for fitness centres.

Yesterday Community Services announced its full package of changes to income assistance to be implemented on December 27. Unfortunately, inflation ensures that most people will be poorer than they were a year before even after the raise kicks in. It’s a horrible thing.

Nine months ago disability activist Jen Powley presented a proposal to Community Services for a four-bedroom unit with shared-attendant care in a new mixed-use building on Gottingen Street. This unit would keep me and three other young adults out of a nursing home at a cost comparable with that of housing them in a long-term care facility. She’s still waiting for a response.

I end my presentation with one request, Ms Knight; Hear what I am saying, look at these examples, and tell me that I am better off.”

Last Friday several members of the Benefit Reform Action Group (BRAG) met with managers at Community Services, at the department’s invitation. Tim Blades was sick and couldn’t make it, but fellow BRAG member Jodi Brown read his letter on his behalf. The letter is addressed to Joy Knight, who is the department’s director of Employment Support Services. Tim tells it as it is.

Dartmouth North MLA Susan Leblanc writes to Community Services Minister Kely Regan to tell her about the confusion re payments to ESIA clients who had to throw out spoiled food after hurricane Dorian.

“People are being told different things than their neighbours, getting different and conflicting information from people they trust, and what’s worse, some people will receive financial assistance without realizing it puts them in an overpayment situation until they receive their payment for October.”