Bank garnishes government assistance to local anti-poverty advocate

Regan Sunshine Brussé stands in front of the Charles Street bus terminal in Kitchener - the location where she distributes food, water, and supplies to poor folks. .
Regan Sunshine Brussé stand in front of the Charles St. bus terminal in Kitchener. Photo by Ivan Angelovski.
Dan Kellar - CKMS - KitchenerON | 14-05-2020

By Ivan Angelovski.

After receiving her social assistance last month, Regan Sunshine Brussé (@ReganBrusse), a local advocate for the poor, and currently unemployed single mother of three, looked into her bank account to find it almost empty. Scotiabank garnished the only funds she and her kids had left to handle the pandemic.

“Technically, they’re in the right to be doing what they’re doing, according to our current laws.” Brussé said. After being contacted about the issue, Scotiabank did return the funds to Brussé's account.

On this episode of CKMS News, we discuss impacts of COVID-19 on people who are on social assistance or otherwise have a low monthly income. We also speak about what banks and the various levels of government are doing to ease these impacts.

Along with Regan Sunshine Brussé, we speak with Laura Mae Lindo, the Kitchener Centre representative in provincial parliament, and Lea Caragata, a professor of social policy at Wilfrid Laurier University.