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e-3856 (Social affairs and equality)

Initiated by Michelle Letwin from Kitchener, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • A person deserves the right to live a safe and healthy lifestyle;
  • With a guaranteed liveable income (GLI), we can ensure citizens are able to afford housing, food, and necessities;
  • A GLI will create equity by ensuring that everyone is entitled to a liveable income during parental leave, instead of the current Employment Insurance system that reduces the amount paid based on hours worked;
  • With a guaranteed income, people can work and rest assured that they will still be able to live if they lose their job, become ill, or face other unforeseen circumstances;
  • A GLI can help remove the stress on our healthcare system by allowing individuals, to afford necessary health services, lessen the demand for emergency shelters and food banks, and provide assistance to individuals struggling with daily expenses; and
  • A GLI is not a replacement for income or employment, but a means of assisting individuals in a more organized manner than our current systems which have the potential of long waits, extreme qualifications, and do not follow inflation rates.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to develop a national framework for the implementation of a guaranteed liveable basic income program throughout Canada for any person over the age of 17, including temporary workers, permanent residents, and refugee claimants.

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 levels 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 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
February 21, 2022, at 7:35 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
April 22, 2022, at 7:35 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Mike Morrice (Kitchener Centre)
May 13, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00467)
Government response tabled
June 23, 2022
Photo - Mike Morrice
Kitchener Centre
Green Party Caucus