To the editor,
Housing is an issue all Canadians face, but recent media reports clearly identify the huge gap that exists within our system. For example, Canadian Senator Mike Duffy claimed a housing allowance of $22,000 annually, which equals $1,833 a month. Nova Scotia MLA Michel Samson claimed a $17,640 housing allowance, or $1,470 a month. Nova Scotia Department of Community Services lists the maximum housing allowance for a family of two as $570 a month, or $6,840 a year.
All three housing allowances come from the same government funds, created through the Canadian tax system. All three live in the same geographical climate and require shelter from the elements. This is where the playing field changes, and changes dramatically. The first two examples are of men working within government. The latter is a family that has had to rely on social services. Chances are they will never change economic positions with one another. But is there not some way we could bring their perspective realities closer together? Perhaps by reducing the shelter allowance for elected and appointed persons and increasing the housing allowance for the marginalized populations?
Karen E. MacKay
Brookland, Pictou County