OTTAWA – "Yesterday, the Green Party of Canada hosted a roundtable panel discussion on a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI). I was joined by our Green MPs Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands) and Paul Manly (Nanaimo-Ladysmith), and basic income experts Floyd Marinescu, of UBI Works, and Sheila Regher, of Basic Income Canada Network, for an important and necessary response to last month's B.C. Basic Income Panel Report.
"The report wrongly concluded that B.C. should not adopt a basic income as a central element of its transfer system. This conclusion is misguided and misinformed.
"The fact is Canada is in the midst of a major structural transition in the world of work, a transition that has only accelerated as a result of the pandemic. Now is the time to discuss how we will confront this change and the inequalities it has created or exacerbated. We need a national conversation on how we will adjust successfully, and how GLI must play a part.
"Canada has never succeeded in designing a benefits system that covers everyone, in all circumstances of need, and we were reminded of that during this pandemic. It is not an overstatement to say that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) saved lives. Without the creation of the CERB and other emergency benefits programs millions of people in Canada would have been in desperate straits. And, even with these emergency benefits, too many people are being left without supports in this pandemic. The question is, what will replace these benefits when they are gone? It is time to end the piecemeal approach and to complete our social safety net with a Guaranteed Livable Income.
"A Guaranteed Livable Income has been a Green priority for years. The B.C. Greens negotiated the pilot project for guaranteed income in 2017 in B.C. We support them, and we know that it’s needed now more than ever. The momentum for GLI is building across parties and within civil society and we will continue to support it."
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