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
Marie Burge - The Guardian
The P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income welcomes the recent motion No. 36 passed in the P.E.I. legislature, putting Basic Income Guarantee back on the government’s agenda.
This effort should produce more than just another report collecting dust. For this to be progress, the proposed Special Committee of the Legislature must see their mandate as the creation of a Basic Income Guarantee program for Prince Edward Island. Otherwise, their December 2019 report could be a rehashing of recommendations, which the working group has presented many times to former governments. At the passing of motion No. 36, Social Housing and Development Minister Ernie Hudson emphasized that a lot of work has already been done on poverty in P.E.I. He seemed to refer only to work for the 2018 Poverty Reduction Strategy rather than that already done on Basic Income Guarantee.
We believe that the work on Basic Income Guarantee must include a statement of principles, such as that developed for P.E.I. by our working group in consultation with the community.Read more
With a federal election coming and all parties in the P.E.I. Legislature agreed, Canada's leading basic income advocate says this is the right time for the province to lobby Ottawa for money.
Former Canadian senator Hugh Segal said with 3.5 million Canadians living in poverty Ottawa has a responsibility to deal with any province that wants to reform the welfare system. Segal is familiar with the Island, having started his career in the office of David MacDonald, an MP for the western P.E.I. riding of Egmont.Read more
Basic Income Guarantee (BIG), as a public policy and program, is designed to respond to the belief that all people have the collective right to an income which allows them to live in good health and with dignity.
The P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income works on Basic Income Guarantee as its central long-term program. Our work has involved consultations with the P.E.I. community, lobbying public decision-makers and maintaining contact with the national movements for Basic Income Guarantee. Meanwhile, we give close attention to the many ongoing conditions of low income in Prince Edward Island.Read more