Results from our October 2020 Lobby Week Campaign
In October 2020, Coalition Canada’s basic income advocates held a Lobby Week, which resulted in Zoom meetings with more than 80 Members of Parliament and Senators from every political party and ridings across Canada. COVID-19 has raised the interest of parliamentarians in the idea of a basic income guarantee and how such a program could work.
During these meetings, parliamentarians raised important questions about basic income and how it would work, how much it would cost and how we would pay for it. Many MP’s requested that we put together an FAQ that summarizes the answers to the most frequently asked questions. The answers we provided are based on the current evidence.
We hope our FAQ will point you to the evidence on which we can base responsible and productive discussion and decisions about basic income. We encourage you to let us know any concerns, questions, and issues which you would like to discuss.
Our advocacy efforts continue
The Government of Canada has stated that its priority is to ‘build back better’. But we can’t embark on this journey with a social safety net that is outdated, inefficient and leaves people falling through the cracks. The pandemic has shone a light on these gaps. Income security is now a major concern for most Canadians as we face 21st Century threats to our safety, security and economy from pandemics, climate change and rapid technological advancement, where stable full-time good paying jobs are rapidly being replaced by precarious employment.
A livable national basic income guarantee is a cornerstone for a new and improved social safety net, providing an income floor that ensures no one is left behind. It is what Canadians need and what our communities need, in order to transition from risk to resilience.
Please Write to your MP
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 to them!
When writing to your MP, feel free to use our messages. 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!
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 all of 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: There are large holes in our social safety net, and 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.
Find your MP’s contact information 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.
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!