Income assistance clients in Nova Scotia who rely on a guide dog will receive more money to help meet the care needs of their trusted companions. Effective May 1, the provincial guide dog allowance for income assistance clients will go up, from $60 per month to $90. The allowance will also include an extra $300 per year to cover routine veterinary exams and care. “Guide dogs provide a valuable service to our visually impaired clients,” said Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse. “This increase will ensure our clients are better able to meet the needs of their service animals so that they can safely and properly perform their duties.” Nova Scotia’s new guide dog allowance will be one of the highest in Canada. Working guide dogs require quality food, monthly grooming, regular flea and heart worm treatments, yearly checkups, vaccinations and other occasional needs. Because guide dogs regularly visit public places, handlers have an obligation to insure that their service animals maintain the highest possible standards with respect to grooming and medical care. The department reviewed the current rates, consulted with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and decided that an increase was needed to help clients meet the care needs of their guide dogs. “CNIB applauds the province of Nova Scotia for increasing the assistance provided to individuals who rely on guide dogs,” said Lui Greco, CNIB’s Atlantic Canada government relations director. “This change in the level of support available to clients of the Department of Community Services will be better able to ensure their service animals receive appropriate grooming and medical attention.” CNIB receives yearly grant funding from the Department of Community Services. In 2011-12, more than $500,000 was provided to support programs and services that benefit people who are visually impaired across the province.
Kolkata: The state committee meeting of CPI(M) scheduled for Tuesday is likely to be stormy, with many leaders holding the party’s bigwigs responsible for the poll debacle in the general election.In Bengal, CPI(M) had fielded 29 candidates and the deposit of all candidates except Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya had been forfeited. Bhattacharya had contested from the Jadavpur Lok Sabha seat and finished third. Mimi Chakraborty of Trinamool Congress won the seat, followed by Anupam Hazra of BJP. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaAmong the prominent leaders whose deposits had been forfeited, include Nandini Mukherjee, a teacher of Jadavpur University who had contested from the Kolkata South seat. The others are Nepaldeb Bhattacharya in Dum Dum, Gargi Chatterjee, Ram Chandra Dom, Abhas Roychowdhury, Amiyo Patra and Deblina Hebram. Meanwhile, a tweet by the party’s politburo member and former MP Mohammed Salim criticising the party line that Trinamool Congress and BJP are equally dangerous in Bengal and they are two sides of the same coin, has added fuel to the fire. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersOn May 31, Salim had tweeted: “The time has come to categorise BJP as the main enemy in the state and take measures to thwart its advance.” This was in direct opposition to party state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra’s view that Trinamool and BJP are equally dangerous in Bengal and this was the line followed by the party during the Lok Sabha elections. Many party leaders who had opposed the line felt that the senior state leaders had failed to assess the situation and guide the party accordingly. They hinted at a major shakeup in the state committee of the party. The leaders said the transfer of 22 percent votes to BJP is alarming for the party. From 30 percent votes which the party got in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, their share came down to 7 percent in 2019. The leadership could not assess that erosion of support base had reached such a rock bottom level. Political experts said they are eagerly waiting to hear the explanation CPI(M) leadership would give for the poll debacle.