MEDIA RELEASE — Urgent action needed on income inequality in Nova Scotia: new report raises alarm, provides practical tool to tackle it

March 11, 2020

K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX, NS) – In partnership with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia (CCPA-NS) released a new report today that lays out what is required for a transformative social policy agenda, entitled Creating the future we all deserve: A Social Policy Framework for Nova Scotia.

Alec Stratford, Executive Director/Registrar of the College had this to say about the report, “Social workers know that significant change needs to happen in order to address or remedy the injustices and harms we see daily. The Social Policy Framework is designed to be at the root of this change. It creates a road map for arriving at a fair, and just Nova Scotia.” 

Lead author Dr. Tammy Findlay, Associate Professor and Chair of Political and Canadian Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, explains the social policy framework like this, “It is a tool to ensure that our governments effectively use public resources to support our collective well-being. Instead, of asking Nova Scotians to do more and to expect less from their governments, the framework allows us to hold them accountable for creating a strong, connected, and supported society.”

“For too long, Nova Scotians have been told that real solutions to poverty and inequality are unaffordable and impractical. But we don’t have to accept that. It’s time for our governments to step up,” adds Findlay.

“Public policy is essential and effective in reducing inequality. Unfortunately, since the 1990s, our governments have continuously failed to adequately invest in comprehensive and holistic social policy. As a result, many Nova Scotians are struggling to access what they need for themselves, their families, and their communities, while some people in our province do very well indeed,” says Christine Saulnier, an author of the report and Director of CCPA-NS.

As Saulnier points out, “This report shows that income inequality results in political, economic and social instability, along with the lost potential of large swaths of people. The social policy framework demonstrates how best to tackle inequality and strengthen the social bond, which are essential to address the climate crisis, and our future well-being. We have the resources, all that is required is political will and good public policy.”

Creating the future we all deserve: A Social Policy Framework for Nova Scotia by Tammy Findlay, Christine Saulnier, Michelle Hébert Boyd, and Jennifer O’Keefe, can be downloaded at: www.policyalternatives.ca

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About us: 

The Nova Scotia College of Social Workers (NSCSW) serves and protects Nova Scotians by effectively regulating the profession of social work. We work in solidarity with Nova Scotians to advocate for policies that improve social conditions, challenge injustice and value diversity.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) is one of Canada’s leading sources of progressive policy ideas. Their Nova Scotia office opened its doors in 1999, and continues to raise debate and propose policy alternatives that will bring the province and Atlantic region closer to achieving a more economically and socially just—as well as environmentally sustainable— future for all who live here.

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact: Rebecca Faria, Communication Coordinator for the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers (902-429-7799 ext. 227, rebecca.faria@nscsw.org).

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