By Roderick Benns
The Kingston Action Group for a Basic Income Guarantee is living up to its name — taking action in the form of a national letter writing campaign directed at the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos.
The hope is that a large number of people will simply copy and paste this letter, adding their own name, address, and signature, and send it off to the Minister. (No stamp is necessary when snail-mailing a letter to a member of parliament.) The letter should create additional pressure for the federal government to consider the merits of a Basic Income policy.
The letter begins by acknowledging the Ministry’s work so far, and then quickly pivots to calling for support for a Basic Income.
“I write to applaud your Ministry’s overarching goal to increase economic and social security for all Canadians, especially those among us who are most vulnerable. I am persuaded by the evidence that the most effective policy for realizing this goal will be a Basic Income Guarantee. I am writing to urge you to do all you can to make this happen.”
The Kingston group was careful to situate the Basic Income discussion within a larger context of social supports for all Canadians.
“In tandem with a broad social support system, including affordable housing, childcare, dental care, pharmacare, and programs that assist those with particular needs and vulnerabilities, a progressive basic income would make a crucial difference in the lives of those living in poverty.”
Later in the letter, the Kingston group acknowledges the federal government’s openness to provincial work in this policy area.
“I am pleased that your government has offered to support the governments of Ontario and Quebec with their proposed pilots for a guaranteed annual income. I trust that this will be the beginning of a federal-provincial collaboration that will see a basic income guarantee in place across the country. It is surely not an exaggeration to call this the most important policy initiative since the introduction of Medicare in the 1960s.”
Download the PDF of the letter in its entirety from the Kingston Action Group here.