Tuesday, 20 March 2018

“I felt the strong need to write this post because of my frustration with this unresponsiveness from my worker, and I wondered how many other people on Income Assistance experience the same thing.” An income assistance recipient writes on calling over and over and about the stress of never getting that much awaited call back.

Kendall Worth about the people on income assistance he encounters here in in Halifax who worry about free bus passes becoming available this spring. “Don’t’ get me wrong. I do agree that there is a strong need for all income assistance recipients, and anyone living in poverty for that matter, to have access to free bus passes. I know quite a few people who are excited about the free bus passes becoming available. But for some it will mean $78 less each month for rent or groceries,” he writes.

“The other day I met this young woman who is on income assistance, and who nonetheless keeps having a positive attitude and remains full of hope that someday she will get off the system. Her life is hard, and Community Services isn’t making it any easier for her,” writes Kendall Worth

Delilah Saunders writes about the pain and emotional labour involved in speaking in public about her murdered sister Loretta and other missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. “My problem lies with the for-profit multi-billion-dollar industries/universities that penny pinch when a speaker provides expertise when their pricey textbooks fail to do so.”

Poverty activist and frequent contributor Brenda Thompson writes about adults only buildings and the law. She was one of the activists who, in the early 1980s, brought about changes that make discrimination based on source of income (welfare) and age (whether you have children) illegal. Landlords openly break that law all the time, and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission just sits back.

Rebecca Rose takes a look at a new Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) policy that means that Transgender women can now be sent to women’s prisons while Transgender men will serve their time in a men’s prison, if that is their preference. Under the old policy inmates were sent to the federal institution that “matched” their genitals, not their gender identity. Rene Callahan-St John, a member of the Prisoners Correspondence Project views the change as a victory, but says much more remains to be done.

Blankets infected with smallpox were handed by early settlers to indigenous peoples as a biological weapon. That’s no joking matter, writes Jackie Davis, who earlier this week went to a local pub where a white comedian thought otherwise. “Comedy should not be exempt from criticism. It should not be a cover for complete ignorance,” she writes.

Reporter Rebecca Hussman braved last Tuesday’s snowstorm and attended a panel on environmental racism and the law. “The weakest link, they thought, is the African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq communities, so therefore we will locate anything and everything we’ve got to get rid of in and around those communities. We know they have no large incomes. We know their levels of education is lower. So let’s locate this dump over here…we don’t care.”