In a recent interview with CBC News, former Minister of Community Services Joanne Bernard made the following statements in reference to her electoral defeat in Dartmouth North and to the NDP’s promise to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr:
“When NDP candidates are at the door, they’re talking to people who may be struggling — the promise of puppies and rainbows resonates”
“If poverty could be solved, they [the NDP] would have done it.”
Much is insinuated in these short statements:
Poverty can’t be solved. To ask for better living and working conditions is ridiculous. People in poverty are stupid for believing otherwise.
Bernard’s condescending tone is particularly insulting to low income people, but is also an insult to anyone believing that a better world is possible – for themselves, and for humanity as a whole.
Luckily, Community Services in Nova Scotia will no longer be under the direction of someone who views users of these services with such contempt. Unless, of course, the next Minister appointed by the McNeil government shares these same views. Sadly, this does not seem out of the realm of the very possible.
At Solidarity Halifax, we refuse to believe that social conditions as they exist are fixed and that human social evolution has somehow reached an end point at capitalism. In fact, we share a strong belief that a better world is within our reach and strive to forge a path forward together.
We would also like to remind Joanne Bernard, as well as the renewed McNeil government, that the Ontario government – a Liberal government – is currently implementing its own puppies and rainbows wage rate.