Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Unusual flooding, erosion, something has changed about the Margaree River in Cape Breton, writes Sam Ainsworth. When local residents start pointing it clear cutting of the Margaree watershed by Port Hawkesbury Paper, the company fights back. An expert report, the local salmon fishers association, politicians all get mobilized to argue that things in fact are just fine. Not so fast, writes Ainsworth, ” The Margaree could be a beacon of light in a very dark history for salmon in this province but the clearcutting must be drastically reduced.”

Lot of rent-poor people in Nova Scotia. 24,000 Nova Scotians, or one in five people who rent, spend more than 50 percent of their annual income on rent. New data released by Statistics Canada tells the story. Also, a neat app that lets you put it all on the map.

About eight hundred Nova Scotians marched to Province House because they hate the devastation of our forests caused by clearcutting and because bureaucrats and politicians aren’t listening to them. To mark this important event we offer up a handful of photos and a transcription of the remarks by Melissa Labrador, a Mi’kmaq woman of the Wildcat community near Kejimkujik.

The state of public housing in Nova Scotia at times is terrible. There is no other way to describe it. Last week I drove to Sheet Harbour and met Brent and Donna, very nice people who deserve better than having to call and call again for somebody to deal with a backed up septic tank, or to have mould simply spray painted over. We hear these stories a lot, and we go check them out when we can.

As the stories of Donna and Leslie show, when you are on social assistance your caseworker makes all the difference. It’s very hard when your caseworker is not there for you, writes long time poverty advocate Brenda Thompson. “Just as caseworkers evaluate their clients on an annual basis, clients also must be permitted to evaluate their caseworkers on a regular  basis on criteria such as as their treatment of the clients, their knowledge of resources, and their willingness to be true advocates and go to bat for their client.”

While municipalities reliably test the quality of water delivered through the utilities they manage, rural residents who rely on wells are on their own, reports new contributor Fazeela Jiwa. Now a new organization, Rural Water Watch Association (RWW), will respond to rural community members’ calls to test their water quality, addressing concerns about living close to toxic sites like landfills or incinerators.

In Nova Scotia, when you apply for social assistance you had better have some money set aside, because this is going to cost you. It’s a logistical nightmare as well. Brenda Thompson takes a close look at all that is required, and she does the math. Remember, people who apply for social assistance tend to be broke. That’s why they are applying….

We revisit the story of Mike Foley, the single father pursued by Community Services and the RCMP for fraud charges that advocates consider dubious. After months of inaction Foley received another phone call from the RCMP informing him that the investigation of ‘fraud’ is on again. Meanwhile, a terrified Foley and daughter Ashley continue to get by with very little money and no medications.