For current social justice issues check out the NSASW Facebook page (click here)

HOW CANADA PERFORMS – The Conference Board of Canada releases its report today (February 4, 2013) on Canadian society compared to 17 other countries. The report, How Canada Performs, compares Canada’s performance on key factors such as: the economy; society; innovation; the environment; health; education and skills. “Canada’s “D” grade on the poverty rate for working-age people, and its “C” grades on child poverty, income inequality, and gender equity are troubling for a wealthy country.” (Excerpt from Conference Board’s website) See society's details of the report at:


BACKGROUND AND KEY ISSUES FOR CASW BOARD ROUNDTABLE(S) WITH THE NDP AND LIBERAL MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, NOVEMBER 22, 2012. An excellent source of information on key national issues and the profiles of the MP’s who were in attendance at the meeting.   Click Here

  A new website,  , will link groups focused on environmental preservation, social justice, health and housing issues, animal protection, and peace advocacy and raise awareness in the general public about the vast number of community organizations actively working in Nova Scotia to help make it a better, kinder, more sustainable place to live.

SOCIAL WORKERS DEFENDING SOCIAL PROGRAMS FOR A STRONGER CANADA - Given the onslaught of legislative changes and policy decisions impacting social programs from coast to coast to coast, CASW, at its annual joint meetings of the federation  adopted the 2012-13 theme  “Social Workers Defending Social Programs for a Stronger Canada"  to guide its efforts in advocating for social justice. Click below to download a poster for your place of work to demonstrate your support of defending social programs for a stronger Canada. (An excerpt from the CASW Reporter September 2012).

WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL JUSTICE? Social work uniquely sets out to improve relationships between people. There are three ways that social work can contribute to social justice: It strives to improve relations between people and communities; it focusses on the vulnerable; and it is always prepared to intervene in unpleasant circumstances. “In this way, social work helps to maintain the social fabric. That's why most countries have a social work profession”. More can be found in his report from the Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development being held in Stockholm, Sweden July 8 – 12, 2012 by Malcolm Payne of the Guardian. Read the article and other conference commentary at:

Reforming Old Age Security:  A Social Work Perspective

The Government of Canada recently announced its intention to reform Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Specifically, it proposes to gradually increase the age of eligibility for the OAS pension and the GIS between the years 2023 and 2029 from 65 to 67. The age of eligibility for the Allowance will also increase from 60 to 62. As a response to these proposed changes, the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) developed, "Reforming Old Age Security: A Social Work Perspective".  Click here to view/copy

Note:   The following letter was sent by Stella Lord, Coordinator of the Community Coalition to End Poverty in Nova Scotia on February 13, 2912 to all the Senators appointed from Nova Scotia.

Dear Nova Scotia Senators,
I am writing to you on behalf of the Community Coalition to End Poverty - Nova Scotia to let you know that we are very concerned about the implications of Bill C-10 and its potential impacts on marginalized and racialized people and communities and on youth in trouble with the law.  This Bill is now before a Senate Committee.

We are particularly concerned that the proposed changes will shift our criminal justice system away from an approach that relies on rehabilitation and restorative justice towards a model based on retribution that will not only fill our jails, but also fail, in the end, to protect victims.  We are also concerned that many of the costs of implementation will be downloaded to the provinces.  As you well know, Nova Scotia is not well-blessed with a plethora of services directed towards poor and marginalized people and this will only put added pressure on funding for provincial services .

We urge you to ask the Committee to seriously consider the ramifications of this Bill and the issues raised by expert witnesses from various professional organizations such as the Canadian Bar Association, The Canadian Psychiatric Association, The Canadian Association of Social Workers, the Canadian Psychological Association, the Canadian Pediatric Society and many others.  We hope that the Bill will be rejected by the Senate or, failing that, that it will not go forward to the House without considerable amendment.

Stella Lord
Community Coalition to End Poverty in Nova Scotia >
901 477 0094

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  Safe Streets and Communities Act, Bill C-10:

Please see the Powerpoint presentation " Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10):   Implications for Marginalized People and Communities"  given by Professor Archie Kaiser, Dalhousie Law School on February 10, 2012, about the details of Bill C-10.  As he outlined, during his address to the Community Coalition to End Poverty in Nova Scotia, most professional associations (The Canadian Bar Association;  The Canadian Association of Social Workers; Association of Psychiatrists and others) along with organizations like E. Fry and the John Howard Society all oppose the Bill and yet most of us know little about it. For a copy of the Powerpoint presentation  (Click Here)  .

"In the meantime, as Archie Kaiser said, we must work to change the national conversation about crime and demonstrate not only its links to poor public policy, especially as it relates to the lack of action on poverty, but also the idea that in the long run this 'tough on crime' bill will not help victims;  nor will it reduce crime; in fact it is likely to increase it! How we do this in a way that is also sensitive to the needs and experiences of victims of crime (who themselves often live in poverty or in marginalized communities) is something that we must learn to do..." - Stella Lord

Stella (Lord) assists with the reformation of the Nova Scotia Women’s Action Coalition and development of the Community Coalition to End Poverty in Nova Scotia (CCEP), a network of anti-poverty groups, social activists, and citizens concerned with action on poverty. The CCEP continues to advocate with government for more action on poverty issues and educate the public to ensure that positive change occurs. - Excerpts from the CCEP website at:   

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Documents:

CCPA Study - The Cuts Behind the Curtain - How federal cutbacks will slash services and increase unemployment:

CCPA Study - Canada’s Incomplete, Mediocre Recovery:

CCPA’s Infographic: The 99% vs. The1%:

 " The Equality Trust  is an independent, evidence based campaign working to reduce income inequality in order to improve the quality of life in the UK."  "... The Equality Trust is working with others to build a social movement for change. We analyse and disseminate the latest research, promote robust evidence-based arguments and support a dynamic network of campaign groups across the country". (excerpts from the Equality Trust website) at:  .

The website contains slides from the book " The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone" by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, a book published in hardback by Penguin in March 2009 and paperback in February 2010.  You will need to download them from the site, but they are well worth the trouble. As you will see on the website the authors have granted anyone permission to use the slides as long as they acknowledge the source.

There is also an interview with The Spirit Level author, Richard Wilkinson, talking about his research on how inequality is harmful to society:

  The Anti Poverty Reduction Coalition   is preparing a 5 year plan to address poverty in the town of Antigonish and Antigonish County. You can follow the coalition's progress on facebook at: