Green Party calls on government to launch discussions on creating a national Guaranteed Livable Income

OTTAWA  –  The Green Party of Canada believes now is the time for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Crystia Freeland to convene discussions on the creation of a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI). 

The pandemic has exposed how many people in Canada truly live in precarious conditions, yet still lack a basic safety net to protect them in times of financial difficulty. The recent extension of emergency pandemic benefits is a necessary temporary fix, but with no permanent benefit to replace them, many remain at risk.

There is growing momentum about the need to investigate the best model for made-in-Canada GLI, including the planned basic income pilot in Prince Edward Island recommend by the all-party Special Committee on Poverty late last year. 

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul will host a roundtable discussion this morning at 9:45 a.m. EST, to further build the case for GLI. The roundtable will feature basic income advocates. This will be Ms. Paul’s second time convening a roundtable on a guaranteed livable income within the last 3 weeks.

The Green Party of Canada is committed to progressive social policy and to completing the social safety net.

Additional Background:

  • Annamie Paul and the Green Party of Canada believe it is time to expand and strengthen our social safety net to meet the demands of our transformed society. 
  • Given the virtually limitless number of different employment, unemployment and underemployment circumstances in which Canadians find themselves, it is unlikely that a piecemeal approach will ever succeed in providing comprehensive coverage. We are left with a confusing, ad hoc, case-by-case system that guarantees some Canadians will unnecessarily or unintentionally fall through the cracks. 
  • Instead of benefit extensions every fiscal quarter, Greens believe the solution is to create a comprehensive benefit in the form of a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI). It is clear that the pandemic has exposed how many Canadians truly live in precarious conditions, yet still lack a basic safety net to protect them in times of financial difficulty.
  • A Guaranteed Livable Income would provide every Canadian with a basic revenue source, ensuring that people can cover basic expenses such as food and accommodation. It would be available with few or no restrictions and be sufficient to protect Canadians from the types of financial catastrophes that many find themselves confronting during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Given that GLI would be comprehensive, it will also be simpler and therefore less expensive to administer. Cruel and unfair outcomes, like in the case of the CERB clawback, would be avoided.  

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For more information or to arrange an interview:

Rosie Emery

Press Secretary