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Susan Martin

I live in Victoria, BC. I returned to Canada in July 2014 after spending two years in Sweden doing a Master’s in International Health (which is Public Health with a focus on low and middle income countries).

I really noticed a further ‘fraying’ of the social safety net from when I had left in 2012 as well as a dramatic increase in the price of groceries. I live alone and am still unemployed after more than a year of job seeking despite plenty of experience in the workplace and good academic credentials. I am fortunate that I have savings to fall back on but they won’t last forever and I don’t want to start breaking into my retirement savings this early.

I am doing the challenge because I want to draw attention to the complete inadequacy of welfare and also to its insidious and probably widely unknown consequences on all aspects of an individual’s well-being – physical, social, psychological and emotional. I will be honest – I have cheated a bit in that I have decided to allow myself things that fit within the budget but only when broken down into a ‘daily usage’ price; for example I buy coffee beans in 800gm packages at a good price and use 16gms per day, same kind of thing with cottage cheese. I am worried that I won’t be able to resist temptation and get so hungry that I eat from other stores I have on hand – but I will definitely report that and perhaps even send Christy Clark a bill for any ‘eating outside of budget’ :-).

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