Thursday, 14 November 2019

Dalhousie Legal Aid Service is restarting its Legal Education for Advocates Project (LEAP), which is meant to help train advocacy workers in legal issues related to poverty law.

In an effort to gain a better view of the whole picture, we would like to reach out to the general community to figure out what legal issues people believe need to be addressed most with advocacy staff.

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has ruled that Community Services cannot refuse to pay a welfare recipient for suitable housing just because the rent exceeds the shelter allowance. We talk to Dalhousie Legal Aid lawyer lawyer Claire McNeil, who argued the case, and community legal aid worker Fiona Traynor, about the scope of this milestone decision.

Brenda Thompson was a welfare activist in Halifax in the eighties. Being a single mom who spoke her mind rather than know her place, she became the target of vicious attacks by the then minister of social services Edmund Morris. But Morris went too far, she took him to court, and won. We talk to Thompson about an especially vibrant period in Nova Scotia welfare activism, the strong support of the feminist movement, Alexa, journalism, slut shaming, and lots more.

“To have a roof over your head and to not go hungry are fundamental human rights,” NDP leader Gary Burrill told the Nova Scotia Advocate to explain the party’s proposed amendments to the Human Rights Act. Lawyer Claire McNeil tells us why this would be a very significant change, and one that is long overdue.