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Increase Income Assistance rates in Nova Scotia

This petition had 144 supporters

The Standard Household Rate for a single person on Income Assistance (IA) in Nova Scotia is $586/month. If you're one of Nova Scotians lucky enough to have a doctor and are able to claim a disability or a chronic mental, cognitive or physical condition that limits participation in employment services, then you can get up to $850/month. Both of these rates are meant to cover all of your living expenses, including rent and food.

Unfortunately, the cost of living for a single person in Halifax NOT including rent is $1182.94/month, and one-bedroom apartments in Halifax rent for $1510/month on average. Two-bedroom apartments rent for an average of $1808/month. Even the increased disability IA rate doesn't cover rent, let alone other necessary expenses. The math just doesn't add up. People who depend on social assistance as their only source of income have been struggling to survive.

The real slap in the face came with the federal government's Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in light of COVID-19, which is going to provide struggling Canadians with almost $2000 per month. Nova Scotia MP Sean Fraser, who is parliamentary secretary to the finance minister, called this amount a "basic income." If $2000 is considered basic income, then why do people on IA get less than half of that? That is the injustice that this petition is targeting. If we can call $2000/month a basic income, then the income provided by social assistance should match it. Everyone deserves a livable monthly income, and COVID-19 has made the government's opinion on what that amount is very clear.

This petition is asking for NS Income Assitance to match the CERB rate. Let's do better.

If you'd like to directly contact those with the power to make this change, here is their contact information: 

Minister of Community Services Kelly Regan: 902-407-3777,

Deputy Minister of Community Services Tracey Taweel: (902) 424-4325,

Associate Deputy Minister of Community Services Tracey Barbrick: (902) 424-7486,

Head Office toll-free number: 1 (877) 424-1177

Premier Stephen McNeil: (902) 825-2093, (902) 424-6600,,

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