After the defeat of Joanne Bernard we now have a new minister of Community Services in Kelly Regan. Kendall Worth, frequent contributor and chair of the Benefits Reform Action Group, wrote this open letter to tell her what’s wrong with the department in terms of income assistance, and how to fix it.
Last month our regular contributor Kendall Worth tried his hand at volunteering for the Lisa Roberts campaign. Sounds like he gained lots of valuable experience and did some great networking. And everybody wins, as Kendall will be able to advise the NDP on poverty and welfare issues, which he knows about from experience.
New contributor Cathy Boyce, who lives in New Brunswick, takes a look at the fentanyl crisis on the East Coast and considers the totally inadequate response of the Maritime provinces.
Homelessness, housing in bad repair and malnutrition can make you sick, both physically and mentally. Yet when we talk about healthcare we rarely talk about addressing root causes and mostly focus on things like wait lists and doctor shortages. Although tremendously important issues, we should not forget about these social determinants of health, says regular contributor Alex Kronstein.
Just in time for the provincial election Alex Kronstein continues his investigation of the social determinants of health with a look at education and early childhood development. This is very important stuff.
Harrietsfield resident Marlene Brown decided to start a private prosecution of the polluters of her and her neighbors’ wells. A judge decided she has a case. This will be the first private prosecution to enforce environmental laws in Nova Scotia. Brown feels she had no choice, since the Department of Environment wasn’t enforcing its own ministerial orders.
On Saturday people on income assistance and their friends marched through North Dartmouth, the constituency of Community Services minister Joanne Bernard, and rallied near her campaign headquarters at the Dartmouth Shopping Centre. “I would tell Bernard, please have pity on us, treat us like human beings, that is all we want,” said one of the protesters.
Kimberly Smith, proud father of Brendon, a 28 year old man who is labeled as living with developmental disabilities, writes about a conversation he had with Joe Rudderham, the executive director of the Disability Support Programs at Community Services. The interview is included. “As for the developmentally challenged and elderly, we are definitely heading toward a monumental iceberg and time to act is running out. We do not have to crash and sink in poverty and illness… We can rise up and help each other prosper,” writes Smith.
You often don’t get sick in a vacuum. Having a stressful job, a mind numbing job, or maybe one that doesn’t make you feel appreciated, are all things that affect your health. The same is true for being unemployed. For part two of a series on the things that make you sick contributor Alex Kronstein focuses on unemployment and job security, and employment and working conditions.
Last week Venus Envy, a beloved downtown Halifax book store and sex shop, came under attack. Transphobic radicals shut down a book launch scheduled in the store for May 17th. New contributor Lara Lewis on how the Halifax community responded, the story that still needs telling.