Bedford Community Food Pantry now open

Dear Friends,

Happy new year! I hope all my constituents have a stellar 2024 — we’re starting the year a little weary but very happy that we have a new grandbaby! I hope the year is starting well for you and yours too.

I wanted to make sure that all residents of Bedford Basin are aware of the changes to the Heating Assistance Rebate Program (HARP).

Last year, the assistance was bumped up to $1,000 per household and the allowable income levels were increased significantly as well. This year, the program has reduced the available assistance as well as the allowable income levels.

This was the topic at our Public Accounts Committee meeting on January 10th.

Nonetheless, $600 in heating assistance may help some residents pay for heat this winter, and I urge anyone who meets the requirements to apply. In this affordability crisis, every bit helps.

If you need help applying for the program, please contact my office and we’d be happy to assist. Also, if you’ve applied and you haven’t heard anything for four weeks, please let my office know as well.

Learn more and apply before March 31st

The Struggle for Assistance after July Floods

So far this year, I’ve done a number of interviews on the slow pace of the Disaster Financial Assistance Program. The deadline for residents and businesses to apply for assistance following the floods that devastated parts of Bedford was October 31, 2023. However, residents began reaching out to me in early January, concerned that that had not had any communication from the government.

Since doing those interviews, we have seen an uptick in responses from the program. I’m happy to see the government is getting back to people. (This should be a given and not require prodding from MLAs, I would note.)

At this writing, we have not heard any updates about the possibility of buying homes on the floodplain for those who wish to move. The government has changed their response on this particular issue— the latest was that if HRM wrote them a letter requesting this buy back, they would consider it. HRM did in fact write to the government, and I asked about it in the Legislature. You can read the exchange here.

I’ll keep you posted on further efforts to get an answer.

The Healthcare Crisis

🏥 The December numbers are out and we ended 2023 with nearly as many people in the Central Zone on the waitlist as there were on the list for the *entire province* in 2021. Read more...

COVID-19 Update

📌 COVID-19 continues to be a presence in our lives. As the Health critic, I frequently urge people to test before visiting vulnerable people, particularly seniors — the vast majority of deaths in this province have been seniors. Read more...

Accessing Rebates & Grants

💲 The Home Energy Assistance Top-up (HEAT) Fund in now accepting applications. This program supports Nova Scotians facing an emergency situation with home heating cost during the winter months. Read more...


Community Spotlight

Bedford Lions Food Pantry

Our thoughtful Bedford Lions are stepping up again!

They’ve just opened a Food Pantry to assist those in the community who may be experiencing food insecurity.

Many Nova Scotians are finding it difficult to make ends meet — rent is up (the rent cap has been increased to 5% from 2%), mortgage rates are up, electricity rates are up, and food costs are up (to name but a few necessities).

If you’re hungry, please use the pantry; if you’re able to donate, please do.

Please note that food items must be non-perishable, unopened and not expired. Personal care items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, and deodorant should all be packaged; shampoo & conditioner, body wash; bars of soap, tampons & pads, diapers, baby wipes, should be packaged as well. There is also a need for packaged dry & wet pet food.

You can find the Food Pantry at 36 Holland Avenue, outside the Lions Den at the Lebrun Recreation Centre.

Learn more

What's on in Bedford Basin?

🚼 Stop by the library for Baby & Tot Drop-in on Wednesdays where you learn new songs and fun things to do with baby, plus have some social time with other grown-ups. Read more...

What's up on Wednesdays? at the library has changes in store this year. Each week, you can dabble in art, fiddle with LEGO Technic, goof-off with games, and chill with friends. Read more...

🎉 Share some stories and get some hands-on fun with art and science activities on Thursdays at the library. Read more...

⚕️ Each month, Caregivers Nova Scotia offers a caregiver support group for people who provide care to family members or friends who have a chronic or acute health condition. Read more...

⛸️ My office is in the midst of planning a free family event for Monday, February 19th; stay tuned for more details to come!