Our church is among many United Church faith communities and social justice and community outreach ministries – such as Brunswick Street Mission and the Sunday Supper – across the country that are involved in supporting people living in poverty every day through a variety of programs.
During the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, “poverty can happen very quickly to anyone,” writes the Moderator of the United Church. There is a better way.
NOW is the time to seize the moment to roll out a Universal Basic Income program in collaboration with the provinces, territories, and Indigenous leadership. A growing movement of Senators, Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran bishops (opens in a new tab), and many more across the country are calling for one. Liberal MPs and grassroots party members, young and old, from east to west have chosen the idea of creating a Universal Basic Income as one of the top priority issues for debate at the governing party’s convention April 9-10. There is an active movement across the United Church of Canada to write to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Finance Minister, and our own MP to encourage them to take this timely opportunity to build on the positive experience of the CERB (the Canada Emergency Response Benefit).
Do not wait. NOW is the time to contact your MP – before April 8th: Add your voice to the call (opens in a new tab) for a universal basic income program in Canada.
You can write your own letter or personalize the e-mail template below. Justin Trudeau’s e-mail is email@example.com and Chrystia Freeland’s e-mail is Chrystia.Freeland@parl.gc.ca. Please cc firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in a new tab) and your own member of Parliament. You can find your MP’s contact information by entering your postal code on the Parliament of Canada website (opens in a new tab). Encourage others to write their MP.
To learn more:
- United Church policies available on United Church Commons (opens in a new tab) (in particular, “Adequate Guaranteed Annual Income,” 1972 and “Guaranteed Annual Income,” 1986)
- this Backgrounder on the Nuts and Bolts of a Guaranteed Livable Income
- this FAQ from Basic Income Canada (opens in a new tab)
- this simple introductory video Basic Income for Canada (opens in a new tab)
- a public letter on guaranteed basic income (opens in a new tab) by Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran bishops from May 2020
- an April 2020 open letter signed by 50 senators calling for a minimum basic income (opens in a new tab) [PDF on sencanada.ca]
This “take action” is shared and encouraged by St Andrew’s Social Justice Committee and by Region 15 Justice, Mission and Outreach Committee.