Basic income guarantee can be reality on P.E.I., says poverty committee chair

CBC News

The chair of an all-party committee on poverty believes a basic income guarantee can become a reality on P.E.I. — and the COVID-19 pandemic has helped show what is possible.

Green Party MLA Trish Altass said she is encouraged by the agreement on the guiding principles put forth by the committee on what a basic income guarantee would look like.

"It's a realization that everyone deserves to live with basic health and dignity and I was so pleased that we came to that agreement," she said.

The committee released an interim report last week and will present its final report to the P.E.I. Legislature in November.

The interim report recommends the market-basket measure used by the federal government as the official measure of poverty. It measures the basic necessities for living, including, housing, transportation, food, clothing and heat. 

"I think what the pandemic has shown us is what's possible when we decide that it is essential that everybody can live and meet their basic needs," Altass said. "That is the goal of a social program."

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