On June 8 during Question Period, Senator Kim Pate asked how the federal government is preparing to implement its commitment to guaranteed livable income in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan.
This commitment to the concept of “guaranteed annual income” delineated in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women contemplates direct income support accessible unconditionally to all those in Canada with incomes below a certain level and has been identified as vital to upholding health, wellness and human security for all, but most acutely for Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ folk.
Last week’s re-commitment to guaranteed livable income is a welcome response to years of calls for the federal government to take measures to improve the prospects of Canadians below the poverty line. As we continue to witness during this pandemic, the health and economic outcomes of Canadians are directly linked and disproportionately experienced by women, especially those who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.
While the Guaranteed Income Supplement is in place to help keep those 65 and older out of poverty, a similar plan does not yet exist for those ages 18 to 64.
“The presence of guaranteed livable income in the National Action Plan emphasizes the connection between economic marginalization, violence, and the ongoing legacy of colonialism in Canada,” said Senator Pate.
“We are very pleased the federal government is acknowledging the need to redress these injustices and inequalities that continue to put lives at risk. Canadians are calling for action without delay. It is time to join with Indigenous nations, provinces, territories and municipalities to make guaranteed livable income a reality.”