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With the laid back days of summer many would believe Nova Scotians have it made and not a care in the world, but just a look at the gas pumps and the rising cost of food in this province and others will tell you there is a real concern for their well-being this coming winter when our thoughts start to turn towards igniting our furnaces.
And for the most part it seems the government is remaining mum on what it can or will do to ease the burden the province's lower to middle income families who will struggle through when temperatures reach below zero.
As it stands, the cost of fuel has risen more than 50 per cent from what it balanced out at last year. Food, too, has been on the rise yet incomes have nary budged. Ours is an economy that is trying to keep afloat and retain its profit margins while the working class are learning more and more to do with less or to do without.
Perhaps, as those who will bear the weight, more emphasis should be placed on co-operative opportunities citizens can benefit from. Tried, tested and true methods that have stood the test of time: partnerships. As the crunch worsens it is likely we will have to turn to each other for assistance instead of waiting for the government to direct us to the poor line. Shopping local, of course, is at the height of these co-operatives and as the year's harvest approaches more could turn to our local growers and producers to fill our pantries. In all likelihood, many will probably discover Cumberland County's bounty much more palatable than some of their regular store bought staples from abroad.
It is a shame many will face the quandary of choosing food over heat as things continue the way they are but by taking small steps to fortify our local producers we help put some pennies into our oil tanks and help ease the strain many of the area's service groups who have been there in the past to help those in need, such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Salvation Army.
Perhaps by creating more backyard partnerships our members of government will stand up and take notice that the citizenry is filling a void itself before General Winter rolls in and that they can do more to be part of the solution.

Organizations: Salvation Army

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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