The principle focus of the Fairness in Basic Needs ministry for the Diocese is carried out through participation in the Face of Poverty Consultation (FACE). FACE is a faith based organization focused on the eradication of poverty in Nova Scotia. It monitors provincial and federal government actions, participates in national actions such as those promoted by Citizens for Public Justice, and collaborates with organizations working on issues like housing, social assistance, and energy affordability. FACE meets monthly so an article will appear in netnews based upon highlights from the FACE meeting. Contact Andy Sherin at email@example.com if you want more information about FACE or you want to contribute to the Fairness in Basic Needs ministry of the Diocese.
Premier Houston has released his mandate letters for his Ministers (https://novascotia.ca/exec_council/letters.html). FACE has reviewed the letters and identified a number of issues that FACE will be monitoring including the implementation of the recommendations from the Affordable Housing Commission and the target of reducing childhood poverty. Ministers are required to prepare plans within 90 days on these issues and others. FACE intends to follow up on the plans in the New Year.
It was reported at the FACE meeting that the new phone line access to apply for the provincial Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA) program is still unsatisfactory with long waits, no bypass access for advocates and inappropriate treatment once connected.
It was reported at FACE that there were many electricity bills massively in arrears. Energy subsidy programs still have funds available to qualified households. The HEAT Fund https://salvationarmy.ca/maritime/home/programs/heat/ and the COVID Relief Fund https://salvationarmy.ca/maritime/home/programs/covidrelief/
The Nova Scotia Action Coalition for Community Well-being holds webinars on several topics. A recent webinar on the climate crisis and the impact on those with vulnerabilities can be found on their site at
A webinar on mental health and addictions is planned for December.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: Nova Scotia has published its 2021 report on the Living Wage in Nova Scotia. A Living Wage is a wage that reflects the rate of pay needed to meet everyone’s basic needs given the costs, available government supports and services, and norms of a specific region.
$21.30: Annapolis valley (Annapolis, Kings, and Hants counties), $18.45: Cape Breton (Cape Breton, Inverness, Richmond and Victoria Counties), $22.05: Halifax (Halifax County), $19.20: Northern (Antigonish, Colchester, Cumberland, Guysborough, and Pictou counties), $21.03: Southern (Digby, Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne, and Yarmouth counties) For the full report visit: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/offices/nova-scotia