What is a Lobby Day?
A Lobby Day (or Advocacy Day) is when a non-governmental organization (NGO) schedules a day to meet with politicians in Ottawa to advocate for legislation or policy they would like to see implemented. Here are some links to general information about Lobby Day: What Happens on Parliament Hill on Lobby Day and An Inside Look at Planning an Advocacy Day.
Basic Income Lobby Day 2020 in Ottawa
In October 2020, Coalition Canada is scheduled to lobby the federal government for a national Basic Income Guarantee (BIG). The Lobby Day Campaign is non-partisan. We are working closely with MPs from every party and with many Senators. Due to Covid-19, all meetings will be virtual. As a result, instead of the usual one day, this year our Lobby Day will be held over a number of days, so we are calling it Lobby Week (October 19-23, 2020).
An MP from every party has agreed to be our Lobby Week sponsors. These MPs help us identify the groups or individuals we should be meeting with and the issues and concerns we should be ready to address. Meetings will be set up with Parliamentary Committees, individual MPs and Senators, and party caucuses, where we will address their questions and concerns – as well as any misconceptions they may have about basic income.
We Need Your Help!
One of our key actions is to ensure that we reach out to as many MPs as possible prior to Lobby Week. Every month we will be drafting a letter which you can send to your local MP (and to other MPs in your region or to any federal elected official). As we all know, politics is local. We can lobby in Ottawa all we want, but MPs need to hear from their constituents that a national Basic Income Guarantee is important!
Here’s What We’re Telling MPs:
1. A Basic Income Guarantee is a cornerstone of a just recovery, not just from the impacts of this pandemic, but as a key pillar of the Canadian social safety net that will help us all weather future storms.
2. A Basic Income Guarantee is there for all of us when we need it: Crises and emergencies can come in many forms: floods, fires, and droughts from the impact of climate change; job loss due to automation, AI and other technological disruptions; and personal and family crisis resulting from violence, accident, illness, or grinding poverty. A national Basic Income Guarantee will provide us the support we need, when we need it, with dignity and security.
3. As we move from crisis to recovery we must learn from our response to the pandemic: We discovered that there are large holes in our social safety net, and that we must be better prepared to meet the next crisis. A Basic Income Guarantee administered by the Canada Revenue Agency and funded by fair and progressive taxation will enable the federal government to quickly respond to Canadians as individuals, rather than to targeted groups or sectors, which often leaves many of us falling through the cracks.
4. Federal leadership is required to work with the provinces, territories and Indigenous Peoples to implement a national Basic Income Guarantee. This is the only way to ensure this new national program meets the needs of each provincial/territorial jurisdiction, is cost effective, and upholds Indigenous rights and sovereignty. Prince Edward Island is ready and waiting for these discussions, with all parties in their legislature in support of moving forward with a Basic Income Guarantee for PEI. The BC Government has stated that it would welcome consultations with the federal government on a Basic Income Guarantee.
Here are the letters we have sent to MPs so far:
- Lobby Day Letter May 2020
- Lobby Day Letter June 2020
- Lobby Day Letter July 2020
- Lobby Day Letter August 2020
- Letter to Cabinet Ministers (24 August 2020), with attachment
- Letter to Parliamentary Secretaries (26 August 2020), with attachment
- Letter to Cabinet Ministers and to Parliamentary Secretaries (31 August 2020), with attachment
- Letter to Cabinet Ministers and to Parliamentary Secretaries (8 September 2020), with attachment
Please Contact Your Local MP
When writing to your MP, feel free to use our messages and letters. Personalize your message by adding that you live in your MP’s riding and add any other information or personal experience you’ve had that convinced you that we need a basic income in Canada. Please send more than one letter. An MP who hears from you more than once understands that this issue is important to you!
You can find email addresses for all MPs, including Ministers here. When you send a letter to your MP, please copy Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Freeland, and Minister Duclos. Their addresses can be found here. Please also copy your local Senator(s). Their addresses are here. And finally, please let us know that you sent a letter by copying us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for advocating for a Basic Income Guarantee for Canada!
Please share this page with all your relations, and ask them to send letters to their MPs too!