Open Letter to the Premier & Send Your Own

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Open Letter Calls on Premier to end discrimination against persons with disabilities

Halifax – Labour, education, business, and community organisations together with individuals representing tens of thousands of Nova Scotians have joined together in an open letter calling on the Premier to take immediate action to fulfill the equality rights of persons with disabilities in need.

The letter calls upon the Premier to implement the Court of Appeal October 6 ruling, drop the application to the Supreme Court of Canada, negotiate a systemic human rights remedy to the problem of discrimination against people with disabilities in accessing social assistance, and end the funding cap which singles out the disabled and creates barriers to their inclusion in our communities.

A day after the Court of Appeal released its ruling regarding decades-long systemic discrimination against people with disabilities in their access to social assistance, the Premier announced that he would “not fight people with disabilities in court” and that he would not appeal.

Fast forward to December 3, 2021 – and a shocking reversal by the Premier with the announcement that the Province is appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada All the while the discriminatory treatment experienced by people with disabilities continues unchecked.

Read the Open Letter calling on the Premier to end the Discrimination.

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It’s not too late for you to write the Premier directly

Let the Premier know what you think – Nova Scotia for all Nova Scotians – End the discrimination – Not in our name

Write/email the Premier’s office and let him know what you think under the subject line: disability rights…..

Office of the Premier
7th Floor, One Government Place,
1700 Granville Street,
Halifax, NS B3J 1X5

RE Disability Rights

OR email:
…and CC copy us at:

  1. Stop the delay tactics – drop the appeal
  2. No more excuses: stop the discrimination against people with disabilities
  3. Fix the problem – we need a systemic remedy NOW
  4. Scrap the budget cap: equal treatment for people with disabilities*
  5. The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal found that the Province is discriminating against people with disabilities in their access to social assistance, specifically by forcing people with disabilities to live in institutions when they don’t need to be there, failing to provide social assistance as of right, in the community of choice:
  6. “Simply put, to place someone in an institutional setting where they do not need to be to access their basic needs, which the Province is statutorily obligation to provide, is discriminatory.” (NSCA decision, paragraph 175)

* The Court said the Province’s discrimination is found in its budget cap on services for people with disabilities – a cap that does not exist for non-disabled people in need. (NSCA decision, paragraph 220)

Some of the Letters already sent to the Premier

“In the circumstances, appealing to the Supreme Court is not only likely throwing good money after bad, but is morally odious.”
– Robert Barkwell, MD, FCFP
Hampton, Annapolis County
[click here to read]

“Please give people a chance. I am lucky, but I don’t want people to have to rely on luck to live their lives to the fullest.”
-Lucas Hatt
[click here to read]

“As the parent with a child with complex medical concerns and disabilities, I am appalled by the government’s current actions.”
-Julie Kuipery
Halifax Regional Municipality
[click here to read]

“Disabled people should not have to fight the system to live in their home communities.”
-Shelley LeBlanc
[click here to read]

“It is appalling to see how quickly you, the leader of our province, turns your back on your constituents with disabilities.”
-Donna Lee
Liverpool/South Shore
[click here to read]

“Be the change you campaigned on. Start working with the disability communities of this province instead of pushing back against them, once again dismissing their rights to full citizenship.”
-Judy MacDonald, PhD
Eastern Passage
[click here to read]

“We need a renewed and robust Department of Community Services that actually helps all communities across Nova Scotia thrive”
-Kimberly Smith
Village of Canning
[click here to read]

“Disabled lives are worthy of safety, support and dignity. Always.”
-Jasmin Stoffer
Clayton Park, Fairview
[click here to read]

“Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada to still have large institutions to house people with disabilities. This is not something to be proud of.”
-Judy Van Amerongen
[click here to read]

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