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e-2583 (Social affairs and equality)

Initiated by Alysia Boudreau from Nanaimo, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons in Parliament assembled

  • Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) would guarantee a livable monthly income to every Canadian with a social insurance number;
  • GLI would establish an income floor below which no Canadian could fall and reflect regional differences in cost of living;
  • GLI would replace the current patchwork of federal and provincial income assistance programs with a single, universal, cash benefit;
  • GLI would be progressively taxed back based on income level;
  • GLI would be administered through the existing tax system and require no means testing, thereby dramatically reducing federal and provincial administration costs;
  • GLI would reduce poverty, thereby reducing the demand on social services, law enforcement and health care, resulting in additional cost savings for government and taxpayers; and
  • GLI would provide a financial safety net for all Canadians, especially through major economic shifts, pandemics, natural disasters, or industry automation.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to implement Guaranteed Livable Income for all Canadians.

Response by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): IREK KUSMIERCZYK

This is a challenging time for all Canadians, and the Government of Canada is taking significant actions to help people facing hardship because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Initiatives that have helped Canadians affected by the economic effects of the pandemic include the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, and one-time enhancements to the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax Credit, Canada Child Benefit, and Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement. As well, the government has provided one-time payments to persons with disabilities.

With CERB payments ending, the Government introduced new Canada Recovery Benefits and is transitioning many of the people who have been receiving CERB to a more flexible and generous Employment Insurance program.

The Government of Canada has also made other commitments that will help to address poverty. For example, the government will continue to invest in housing so that more people have a safe and affordable place to call home; carry out a campaign to create more than 1 million jobs; support initiatives to improve food security so that everyone can put nutritious food on their table; and bring forward a new benefit and employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities.  

The Government of Canada already has ongoing programs with features of a partial basic income for specific groups, such as the Canada Child Benefit for families with children, and the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors. These and other initiatives have contributed to progress on lifting Canadians out of poverty. These programs exist alongside provincial and territorial programs, including those that deliver social assistance.

It is important to acknowledge that income security is a shared responsibility across different levels of government. As such, the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of working with provinces and territories to find solutions to common challenges.

The federal government will continue to monitor research and analysis on potential basic income policies and programs that could positively impact Canada’s economy and society, as part of its efforts to tackle poverty and to ensure that all Canadians have a real and fair opportunity to succeed. As we move towards economic recovery, the Government is continuing to explore a variety of potential shorter and longer-term policy responses that could address the ongoing needs of Canadians. 

Open for signature
May 21, 2020, at 8:43 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
August 19, 2020, at 8:43 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Paul Manly (Nanaimo—Ladysmith)
September 25, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00010)
Government response tabled
November 16, 2020
Photo - Paul Manly
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia