Tuesday, 11 December 2018

In September several MLAs from all three parties attended a screening of My Week on Welfare at the auditorium of the Nova Scotia Art Gallery in downtown Halifax. This is what Aron Spidle, who is featured in the documentary, told the MLAs. “When a friend asks me to do something with them, the first thing that occurs to me is to ‘how can I get out of this gracefully?’ because most of the time I cannot afford it.”

On Wednesday evening several MLAs from all three parties attended a screening of My Week on Welfare at the auditorium of the Nova Scotia Art Gallery in downtown Halifax. My Week on Welfare is a wonderful documentary, produced by Jackie Torrens, that offers glimpses into the lives of income assistance recipients, families and individuals both, trying to make ends meet on a scandalously low food and shelter budget. The screening was organized by BRAG and CASAR members. What follows is what poverty advocate and Nova Scotia Advocate contributor Tim Blades told the MLAs. 

A screening of My Week on Welfare, the no holds barred view into the lives of people caught up in Nova Scotia’s welfare system, will be held October 4 at the Dartmouth North Community Centre. We talk to Tim Blades, who helped organize the event, about why these kinds of meetings are so important and liberating for people on social assistance. Oh, and the screening is sponsored by the Nova Scotia Advocate.

Last night’s screening of Jackie Torrens’ terrific My Week on Welfare was a great success. Lots of people, and more importantly, lots of new faces. It is wonderful to witness people on welfare realize that yes, things are terrible, but there are others like them who aren’t going to take it anymore. We have lots of pictures, and the talk by regular contributor Tim Blades on being on welfare in general, and the extra struggles faced by single mothers who receive child support.

The politicians who make decisions about people on social assistance should try living on a social assistance budget just for a week, says actress and documentary maker Jackie Torrens. It would make them better politicians. “I don’t extend the challenge in an aggressive way, or an angry way. I sincerely want our MLAs to have a tiny glimpse of what people on social assistance in this province are dealing with on a daily basis,” says Torrens.