NDP concerned with cuts, changes to services for African Nova Scotians

July 11, 2016

TRURO – The NDP is joining community organizations throughout the province in raising concerns about the impact of  the Liberal government’s reorganization of employment services. As of July 1, the provincial government has cut funding to several organizations providing employment services, including those serving African Nova Scotian communities in Truro and Preston.

“It has become a trademark of the Liberals to impose service cuts and changes without consulting the communities that will be impacted.” said NDP African Nova Scotian Affairs Critic Lenore Zann. “The government is forcing community organizations to manage these closures and service changes when the government should be focused on helping community groups address the complex issue of racism and employment.”

This week, members of the African Nova Scotian community raised concerns about new education requirements for some employees at the remaining locations, which may prevent experienced employment counsellors who have recently been laid off from applying for newly-created positions.

“These changes will mean that there will no longer be employment counsellor jobs for people in the community.” said Lynn Jones, who worked in the federal public services for 30 years as an employment counsellor and is now retired. “The best counsellors in my mind are the ones that really know their communities, understand the complex issues of discrimination people are facing, and can network to match people with jobs and find the people employers are seeking to hire.”

Jones serves as a board member of the Community Enhancement Association of Truro, which provided employment services to African Nova Scotians until those services were cut by the Liberal government as of July 1.

“Racism is still a reality that prevents many African Nova Scotians from accessing employment and other opportunities in our province,” said Zann. “African Nova Scotians with long histories of providing services to their communities are the experts in this field and the Liberal government should be welcoming their expertise instead of discarding it.”

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For more information please contact Kaley Kennedy at (902) 830-8748