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Income Assistance recipients and their allies invite Department of Community Services Minister to community meeting discussing welfare reform

by Dartmouth ACORN and the Special Needs Working Group

Halifax, NS – In response to the ongoing plan to review the Income Assistance (IA) Program and to the arbitrary decisions by the Department of Community Services that have caused cuts to assistance and special needs funding to people living in poverty, Dartmouth ACORN and the Special Needs Working Group are organizing a townhall meeting for people on Income Assistance and their allies to discuss potential budget cuts coming from the McNeil Liberals. Joanne Bernard, Minister of the Department of Community Services and Dartmouth North MLA, has been sent several invitations but has not confirmed her attendance.


“The Liberal government is continuing the work of the previous NDP government. People on IA are having their benefits cut”, said Fiona Traynor, Community Legal Worker with Dalhousie Legal Aid Service. “The government is calling these changes a ‘transformation project’. These changes are being done without community involvement and people are suffering as a result.”

Evan Coole of Nova Scotia ACORN is concerned that the McNeil Liberals commitment to cutting the provincial budget will result in hardships for people on Income Assistance: “It is preposterous to balance the budget on the backs of the worst off in our province. Our government should be finding ways to make income assistance more generous, instead of further marginalizing people living in poverty.”

The community meeting will take place 6:30pm, Monday, November 24th at the Dartmouth North Community Centre. Income Assistance recipients and their allies will be invited to discuss what changes need to be made to the IA program. Minister Joanne Bernard has been invited to listen to her constituents’ concerns. 

Dartmouth ACORN is a local chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now – Canada (ACORN Canada), a 60,000 member strong organization of low and moderate income people with chapters across the country. The Special Needs Working Group is a project of Dalhousie Legal Aid Service, bringing together service providers and income assistance recipients to discuss reform of special needs allowances under the Income Assistant program.

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Topics: Poverty
310 words

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