Senators call for federal support of PEI basic income

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NOVEMBER 5, 2021— “Let’s Get ‘er done!” is the overwhelming sentiment of Prince Edward Islanders seeking federal support to implement a full-scale guaranteed livable basic income (GLBI). From the Premier, to members of the Opposition, First Nations leaders and people in the community, the calls are clear and growing for the federal government to help make this program a reality.

PEI is the perfect place to launch GLBI. Collaboration between the federal and PEI governments would allow PEI to demonstrate how GLBI could both address poverty and promote the resilience of local economies. GLBI would deliver significant benefits to Islanders at a relatively low cost to the federal government. Moreover it would enhance PEI’s serious commitment to such anti-poverty measures as the province’s poverty elimination strategy as well as programs like the Secure Income Program Pilot and proposed Targetted Basic Income Guarantee.

COVID-19 has emphasized the importance of robust income support. Many benefitted from vital federal support, yet many were still left to struggle during the pandemic. One in four Islanders was forced to rely on foodbanks to put food on their tables.

Last year’s report of the PEI Legislature’s Special Committee on Poverty provides a comprehensive blueprint for federal and provincial discussions, delivering precise data regarding the anticipated cost, design, and beneficiaries of the program. The report also carefully situates GLBI as only one tool in a larger array of necessary anti-poverty measures. For example, while federal-provincial-territorial collaboration on affordable childcare is vital to women’s participation in the economy, so too is better recognition of the economic value of the unpaid care work that women carry out at three times the rate of men. GLBI can help compensate and thereby alleviate such inequities.

The time for the federal government to match the Island’s commitment with action on a PEI guaranteed livable basic income is now!

Signed:

Senator Margaret Dawn Anderson

Senator David M. Arnot

Senator Michèle Audette

Senator Wanda Elaine Thomas Bernard

Senator Robert Black

Senator Peter M. Boehm

Senator Gwen Boniface

Senator Yvonne Boyer

Senator Patrick Brazeau

Senator Bev Busson

Senator Dan Christmas

Senator Bernadette Clement

Senator Jane Cordy

Senator René Cormier

Senator Mary Coyle

Senator Donna Dasko

Senator Colin Deacon

Senator Marty Deacon

Senator Percy E. Downe

Senator Pat Duncan

Senator Éric Forest

Senator Josée Forest-Niesing

Senator Brian Francis

Senator Rosa Galvez   Senator Diane Griffin

Senator Mobina S.B. Jaffer

Senator Nancy J. Hartling

Senator Stan Kutcher

Senator Frances Lankin

Senator Mary Jane McCallum

Senator Marilou McPhedran

Senator Marie-Françoise Mégie

Senator Terry M. Mercer

Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne

Senator Lucie Moncion

Senator Rosemary Moodie

Senator Ratna Omidvar

Senator Kim Pate

Senator Chantal Petitclerc

Senator Jim Quinn

Senator Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia

Senator Pierrette Ringuette

Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain

Senator Howard Wetston

Senator Vernon White

Senator Yuen Pau Woo

Senator Hassan Yussuff

come

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