All across Canada, community groups and coalitions like P.E.I.’s Working Group for a Livable Income have been advocating for Canada to implement a basic income guarantee.
Many, even from elsewhere in Canada, have watched the progress here in P.E.I. and advocated for a national launch here to build on P.E.I.’s extraordinary momentum!
Now, thanks to the work of the all-party special committee on poverty on P.E.I. and the legislative assembly of P.E.I., a credible, fully costed, fully considered model exists to make P.E.I. the launching point of a basic income guarantee for all of Canada.
P.E.I. first made history by endorsing guiding principles for a basic income guarantee. The special committee’s model for P.E.I. is based on these principles.
It is designed to be universal and unconditional to all adults having resided here for at least one year, ages 18 and above, including seniors.Read more
The P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income is excited to congratulate the legislative assembly of P.E.I. for endorsing the final report of the special committee on poverty on P.E.I., which recommends a basic income guarantee for P.E.I.
The report provides a fully costed, workable and achievable model for a basic income guarantee that could eliminate poverty in P.E.I. It was a groundbreaking day for P.E.I. and Canada when this important report was adopted, and the time to act on the report is now!
We write today to urge the P.E.I. government to begin immediately to negotiate with the federal government for the launch of a permanent basic income guarantee in P.E.I., as recommended in the report.
The Prince Edward Island Working Group for a Livable Income has been advocating since 2013 for P.E.I. to launch a provincewide program for a basic income guarantee: one that can be scaled up to include all of Canada.Read more
Federal New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh is the first federal party leader to support calls for implementing a basic income guarantee pilot program in P.E.I.
In an interview with The Guardian on Monday, Singh said his party campaigned on implementing a national basic income pilot project and said he would support such a pilot on P.E.I.
Singh’s statements on the subject followed a report by all-party special standing committee on poverty, which called for implementing a full basic income guarantee (BIG) on P.E.I.
"We campaigned on a pilot project, so we absolutely support a pilot project," Singh said. "P.E.I.'s legislature put forward that as an idea, and they asked for federal funding to support this. The federal government has been unresponsive."Read more
P.E.I. Minister of Social Development and Housing Ernie Hudson is preparing another letter — his third in the past 18 months — asking the federal government to contribute funding for a basic income pilot program here.
This latest request comes on the heels of a report from the provincial legislature recommending the province ask Ottawa to contribute unspecified funding to support a $270-million-a-year program to provide a guaranteed annual income of $18,260 to more than 50,000 Islanders.
The report, authored by MLAs from all three parties that have members in the legislature, suggests the program could function as a national pilot.
But so far, Hudson's letters haven't prompted any written response from the ministerial level — just a note from a federal staffer following the second letter saying Hudson's message had been received.Read more
When the federal government unveiled its plan to provide Canadians whose employment has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with a monthly income of $2,000, members of P.E.I.'s Working Group for a Livable Income saw something that looked a lot like what they and others have been trying to bring to P.E.I. for years: a basic guaranteed income.
"It's very close to what we would be advocating for," said Jillian Kilfoil, executive director of Women's Network PEI, one of the members of the working group.Read more
A top economist with the Department of Finance believes P.E.I.’s current social safety net already has many similarities to a basic income guarantee.
Nigel Burns, director of economic statistics and federal fiscal relations with the department, spoke before the standing committee on poverty in Charlottetown last week.
Burns addressed the concept of a negative income tax, a form of basic income guarantee that would give a government payment to all individuals who earn below a certain amount, regardless of whether they work or not. Individuals who earn above this amount would pay income taxes.Read more
The P.E.I. Legislature's special committee on poverty heard testimony Wednesday on whether it is feasible to create a basic income guarantee for Prince Edward Islanders.
The idea behind a basic income guarantee is to make sure everyone has enough money to live on. Rather than calculating assistance based on ability to work or find a job, people would be guaranteed a certain income under any circumstances.
The committee is working on how the province could afford such a system.Read more
The PEI Working Group for a Livable Income, established in 2003, is receiving support from across Canada for its work toward establishing Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) in PEI. The Working Group had developed its campaign in 2013 and called it C-BIG PEI (https://cbigpei.wixsite.com/c-big-pei)
In late November a national initiative group on BIG was formed, made up of promoters representing nine provinces and one territory. The Kingston and Area Group for BIG were the original motivators, having previously identified PEI as an ideal place to start a Basic Income program. The understanding is that it would be a permanent, fully-funded, federal-provincial program. The promoters from across the country see the advantage of having BIG established in a complete provincial jurisdiction.The size of the PEI provides minimal complications.Read more
Lennox Island First Nation Chief Darlene Bernard supports basic guaranteed income in P.E.I. as a strong means to help lift many – perhaps all – of her people out of poverty.
Bernard estimates 50 to 55 per cent of the approximately 1,500 Mi’kmaq people in the province live below the poverty line.
She said the process of accessing federal funding is an ongoing frustration because, she believes, Ottawa is "culturally biased'' in how it doles out money.
“If I want something from the federal government and you want something from the federal government, I jump through 100 hoops,’’ she told The Guardian. “You might jump through 10.’’Read more
Members of the P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income laid out a blueprint for a basic income guarantee in the province, speaking Thursday in front of a new legislative committee tasked with exploring the issue of poverty.
"Basic income requires a transformation of the system we have now," Ann Wheatley told members of the committee.
Wheatley is with the Cooper Institute, a social advocacy group and part of the larger Working Group for a Livable Income, which for the past 15 years has been delving into the issue of how to assure Islanders' basic needs are met.Read more