September 19th, 2019

NDP launches Prosperity Shared commission to discuss economic equality

HALIFAX -- Today, the NDP Caucus is launching Prosperity Shared: The Commission for Economic Equality in Nova Scotia. The Commission will hold public meetings throughout the fall and draw on successful projects across the province to find ways to offer better services to Nova Scotians.

“When we look at the situation so many people in Nova Scotia find themselves in, we know that better is possible,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “This commission will act as an opportunity to talk with people in their communities about the struggles they face, some of the solutions that already exist, and how an NDP government could expand access to those solutions.”

Nova Scotia has the lowest median income in the country, the fastest-rising food bank use, and the highest rate of child poverty.

The Commission is made up of three commissioners: Janet Bickerton, Charlie Huntley, and Lana MacLean. NDP Community Services spokesperson Susan Leblanc will moderate the Commission meetings.

There will be six community meetings throughout the province between late October and the end of November. Each meeting will include a community meal, a presentation from a local organization about community-led solutions working in their region, and an opportunity for members of the public to discuss policy proposals including expanding school food programs, public-led internet and cell phone initiatives, and home retrofit programs.

Commissioner Quotes:

  • "We want to talk about the challenges Nova Scotians are facing, including the increasing costs of living, lack of jobs, and the fact that very few workers are seeing raises that keep up with those increasing costs, let alone ones that increase their quality of life," Charlie Huntley said. “This initiative will help shape the ways we work to make sure that the wealth that exists in Nova Scotia, which was created by the workers in this province, is shared with more people and more communities, and not just the wealthy elite."
  • "We have a responsibility to care for each other. People are looking for relief. They’re looking for hope. There are many opportunities for change to happen. I’m excited to participate in this process of imagining a province where prosperity is shared by everyone," said Lana MacLean.
  • "People across Nova Scotia are doing a lot of work to hold things together - food banks are taking on multiple roles to keep communities going. The research is clear, the income gap between the rich and the rest of us is bad. It’s bad for our health, it’s bad for our economy. We can work with communities to make sure prosperity is shared," said Janet Bickerton.