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Nova Scotia’s war on the poor 

Voice of the City

click to enlarge Ed. sent, unsigned, via handwritten letter to The Coast
  • Ed. sent, unsigned, via handwritten letter to The Coast

I am one of the poor who will never be able to afford a computer/laptop/Internet service. I was born into poverty during a majority federal Conservative government in power, who made my single mother and me live on a monthly cheque which they would not increase with cost of living, price of groceries going up. Things in life did not improve until the federal Trudeau government came into power. So I have had decades of life experience as one of the poor versus a social worker—with the four years of college they need to become a worker—who makes decisions over the poor. I sometimes wish social workers were made to live a couple of months as the poor.

Anyways what is going on is the shell game between premier McNeil, finance minister Whalen and the minister of the department of community services. Shell game of who is to blame for 30 percent cutbacks in special needs! With the poor stuck in the middle, with their much-needed special needs under attack!

Special needs includes: 1) a special diet needs cutback of 30 percent less money that means the poor will be doing more time in the hospital. 2) Medical transportation—bus pass money—all gone. 3) Telephones that the poor need so that their medical family doctor, specialist, dietician or nutritionist can within a day tell the poor your test results are in and I need to see you right away. Once this 30 percent cutback of special needs hits it doesn’t hurt the gold-plated premier and finance minister or the department of community services minister.

I love the fact that these college, high education people make decisions about poverty and lose their common sense about long-term side effects of their decisions about poverty. I have gone from municipal to on/off provincial assistance. During the course of time, certain things have not improved if your social worker hated you on municipal assistance. They still hate you on provincial assistance. And you are their client, meaning you are nothing more than a file to them. As I have been through different social workers. I have had difficult/harsh times while I was a part-time minimum wage person of $5 per hour and with a $50 incentive that did not last any more then one day!

When John Hamm became premier the first cutback was room rent to $225, during a time when bad landlords were charging a basic $350 per month to ten welfare clients they had as tenants (making $3,500 per month off of welfare people but not doing no repairs, sometimes providing no heat and making them live with cockroaches). People had to take $125 out of food allowances to make up the difference of $250 room rent.

I have lived half my life in poverty and have accepted the fact that I will be living my life in poverty as it is my destiny to live a hard life. I also do not like the provincial government bullshit that I pay no taxes! I have to pay a 10 cent deposit on everything I drink except milk! This 10 cent deposit is something social assistance says I do not pay! And therefore is not included in the budget allowance amounts of money they allow me to have! I have to pay a 15 percent sales tax on used clothing I have to wear so I will not freeze. The kind-hearted provincial taxpayers who do not want to see me starve have to take extra money out of their pockets to provide food to food banks and soup kitchens. Once a poor person is over by one penny, nickel, dime or quarter it gets deducted off to save provincial government money! The penny which is know round up /down by the federal government! The nickels, dimes or quarters the poor need to pay an uneven 15 percent sales tax! While the provincial gold-plated government officials overspend on items like orange juice and steak.


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