Punitive legislation must be repealed

December 17, 2014

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard must end her legal action against the family of Joellan Huntley and repeal Section 12A of the Social Assistance Act.

“No other family should have to endure what the family of Joellan Huntley have been through recently. I cannot understand why Minister Bernard wants to wait for the court’s decision before reviewing the policy. This is a bad law, it’s unfair, and it needs to be eliminated.”

At a recent court hearing, the lawyer representing the Minister said the Income Assistance Act entitles the province to claw back the insurance settlement the Huntley’s received in 2007.

MacDonald says Section 12A of the Social Assistance Act is similar to a policy a Liberal government introduced in the 1990s that required seniors in nursing homes pay for their own health care.

“Once upon a time, Nova Scotians were forced to hand over their life savings to pay for medical care after entering a nursing home,” said MacDonald. “Fortunately that policy was reversed over a decade ago because it was wrong.”