Campaign for BIG – PEI

On November 27, 2020, the all-party Special Committee on Poverty in PEI presented its final report to the Legislative Assembly and a motion was passed to accept the report. In 2022, all parties in the Legislature reaffirmed their support for a BIG in PEI. 

Summary of Key Recommendations to the Government of PEI:

Definitions and measures of poverty: That the Government adopt the “market-basket measure” as its official measure of poverty when making changes to legislation, regulations and policy. The market-basket measure is calculated by Statistics Canada, based on regions and updated regularly.

Living wage for Prince Edward Island: That the Government research ways in which it can support other areas of the province in determining a living wage. (On November 2, 2020, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a new report, which recommended a Charlottetown Living Wage of $19.30 earned per hour for 2020.)

Creation of a basic income guarantee: That the Government begin immediate negotiations with the Government of Canada for the development and implementation of a basic income guarantee program for Prince Edward Island

Design a Basic Income Guarantee Program: That the Government design a program where the guarantee is a fixed percentage of the most current market-basket measure threshold, and that the guarantee is fixed at a minimum 85% of the threshold with a 50% benefit reduction rate (BRR), and that the program is available to all adult residents of the province, aged 18 years and above and includes seniors.

A full basic income guarantee program that ultimately eliminates social assistance: However, the Government commits to maintaining all other social programs and services that support people with low income, regardless of the implementation of any basic income guarantee in the province.

Pilot recommendations: That in the event that the federal government is not supportive of a full program, the Government initiate the development and implementation of a Basic Income Guarantee Pilot for Prince Edward Island, adopting the Special Committee’s “Guiding Principles for a Basic Income Guarantee for Prince Edward Island” as the basis of their work.

Coalition Canada basic income-reveu de base supports PEI’s request to partner with the Federal Government to design and implement a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) for PEI.

Coalition Canada formed a “proposal team” made up of economists, former federal MP’s, sitting PEI MLA’s, policy experts and advocates. The team worked for over a year to develop a picture of what a feasible federal/provincial demonstration project could look like. 

See also the Guiding Principles for a BIG for PEI, identified on page 21 of the Special Committee’s Final Report

Write a letter of support to your MP for a BIG PEI

Write a letter to the Premier of PEI and to the Prime Minister supporting a federal/provincial partnership with PEI to implement a basic income guarantee based on the principles recommended by the all-party Special Committee on Poverty in their Interim Report.

Write a Letter to the Editor, Tweet or Post your support

The draft letter can also be used to provide ideas to help you write a letter to your local newspaper, tweet or post your support of a basic income for PEI.