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e-3786 (Social affairs and equality)

Initiated by Matthew Britton from Châteauguay, Quebec

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Prime Minister

  • We are in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • No support has been given to the least fortunate in Canada;
  • People with disabilities, unable to work, retired people and the elderly are left behind; and
  • A universal basic income can be funded with a wealth tax on Canada's wealthiest corporations and billionaires and will greatly benefit those living below the middle and upper class of society.
We, the undersigned, Canadian citizens, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit, call upon the Prime Minister to implement a guaranteed livable basic income for seniors, people with disabilities, mental illness, or the inability to work, as well as to implement a universal basic income.

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

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): IREK KUSMIERCZYK

The Government of Canada is taking crucial steps to help make life more affordable for more Canadians, while investing to grow the economy and create jobs.  

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

This petition calls for the implementation of a Guaranteed Livable Income, which can be viewed as equivalent to a basic income. The Government of Canada already has ongoing programs with features of a partial basic income, such as the Canada Child Benefit for families with children, and the Old Age Security (OAS) 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.

In addition, recent budgets introduced several measures that will help to reduce poverty and inequality. For example, Budget 2022 included a comprehensive plan to make housing more affordable; set the stage for dental care for low-income Canadians; and outlined an employment strategy for persons with disabilities.  Budget 2021 also included measures such as increasing regular OAS payments for pensioners aged 75 and older by 10 percent as of July 2022; temporary measures to make Employment Insurance more accessible and simple for Canadians; and, expanding the Canada Workers Benefit to support about 1 million additional Canadians in low-wage jobs.

The Government is also working with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners to build a Canada-wide, community-based child care system, with the federal government providing provinces and territories with significant funding to support substantial reductions to families for the cost of regulated child care spaces.

The Government of Canada is committed to the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities. On June 2, 2022, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion reintroduced ground-breaking legislation that would establish a new Canada Disability Benefit (CDB). If approved by Parliament, the CDB would become an important part of Canada’s social safety net, alongside Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the Canada Child Benefit. It could significantly reduce poverty and benefit hundreds of thousands of Canadians.

Furthermore, the Government of Canada continually undertakes research and analysis on potential basic income programs and other approaches 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
January 18, 2022, at 10:19 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
May 18, 2022, at 10:19 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie)
June 14, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00572)
Government response tabled
August 17, 2022
Photo - Alexandre Boulerice
Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie
New Democratic Party Caucus