Nova Scotia

Joanne Bernard says 'everything on the table' in benefits reform

The community services department may be considering providing all recipients of social assistance with bus passes.

Some Nova Scotians with disabilities living on social assistance lost their bus pass in May

Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard said Thursday there was never a policy for guaranteed bus passes, but there is a policy stating transportation will be provided so long as it's economical. (CBC)

Nova Scotia's government is considering providing a bus pass to everyone on social assistance as it reviews benefits. 

"Who knows? Everything is on the table," Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard told reporters on Thursday.

"Whatever is the economical way of delivering transportation — particularly in HRM — is the way we are going to do it." 

In May, some Nova Scotians with disabilities living on social assistance lost their monthly bus pass as a result of ongoing reviews. 

The department said then that the bus pass policy hadn't changed, but suggested more people may have come under review.

Bernard said there was never a policy for guaranteed bus passes, but there is a policy stating transportation will be provided so long as it's economical.

"It's a $6 million program within the central region alone," she said, adding that social workers continue to work with clients individually to determine their needs.

"If somebody has a few appointments, then it would make more economical sense that they would receive bus tickets. Otherwise, they would get a bus pass."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.