It's Time for a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income!

For nearly two years, my team and I have been working alongside basic income supporters, anti-poverty organizations, disability rights organizations, unions, Indigenous peoples, and seniors advocates from across the country to put a guaranteed livable basic income (GLBI) at the front of the poverty elimination conversation.

In August 2020, I introduced Motion-46 (M-46) in the House of Commons for the establishment of a GLBI. 

The campaign for M-46 gathered 45,000 signatures from folks around the country and mobilized thousands of people around this very clear ask: for human rights and dignity to be ensured for all. 

I am so encouraged by the strength of our movement, and the collective will to end poverty in this country. We must move towards a future where all people living in Canada can live with dignity, security and human rights. This future is possible, it is simply a political choice.

We must legislate a long term and permanent plan that prioritizes people over corporations -- It is time that the rich pay their fair share, and that everyone living in Canada has access to housing, health care, and a GLBI.

That is why on December 16th, 2021, I introduced a private member’s bill titled: National Framework for a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income Act. 

The bill proposes a GLBI for all people living in Canada over the age of 17, would not require participation in the workforce or an educational training program, would consider regional difference in the cost of living, and would ensure implementation does not result in clawbacks in services or benefits meant to meet an individual’s exceptional needs related to health or disability.

This is just the beginning. There will be many opportunities for you to join this campaign and take action in the new year. In the meantime, continue to talk with your communities about the importance of implementing a GLBI and share the videos and links below.

In solidarity,

Why a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income?

A guaranteed livable basic income (GLBI) is a predictable cash payment provided unconditionally by the government to all individuals in Canada who need it, without requirements to work (or seek work, training, and education), in order to build on our current social safety net and afford all persons in Canada with respect, dignity, security, and human rights affirmed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Governing should be about investing in people first and not corporations; this includes divesting from corporate welfare, ending off-shore tax havens, and taxing the ultra wealthy. According to a 2018 CRA study on illegal tax dodging and a 2019 PBO report on legal tax dodging, Canadians are missing out on as much as $51 billion per year in uncollected taxes, in places such as off-shore tax havens and tax avoidance schemes.

Our current social problems are not free and we must invest differently. The cost of inequality, insecurity and poverty is high and unsustainable for all levels of government. Can you imagine if we made the ultra wealthy pay their fair share and used that money to invest in people?

A guaranteed livable basic income must be administered in addition to: increased investments in current and future government public services, accessible affordable social housing, expanded health services, and income supports meant to meet special, exceptional and other distinct needs and goals rather than basic needs.