Liberal MP sponsor of Private Member's Bill on Basic Income, expresses support for NDP MP's Motion on the same issue
Earlier this year, I introduced my Private Members Bill C-273: An Act to establish a national strategy for a guaranteed basic income in the House of Commons. If passed, the bill activates an enabling framework for provinces and/or territories to form agreements with the federal government to execute implementation pilots for guaranteed basic income.
This is the first time a bill has been introduced on guaranteed basic income in Canada. This bill is the culmination of many years of work, research by many leaders, advocates and champions from political parties across the political spectrum. They have been promoting and engaging Canadians in public discourse on this topic for many years.
One champion has been MP Leah Gazan who introduced Motion M-46 into the House of Commons in 2020.
That, in the opinion of the House, the government should introduce legislation and work with provincial and territorial governments and Indigenous peoples to ensure that a guaranteed livable basic income (i) accounting for regional differences in living costs, (ii) for all Canadians over the age of 18, including single persons, students, families, seniors, persons with disabilities, temporary foreign workers, permanent residents, and refugee claimants, (iii) paid on a regular basis, (iv) not requiring participation in the labour market, education or training in order to be eligible, (v) in addition to current and future government public services and income supports meant to meet special, exceptional and other distinct needs and goals rather than basic needs, including accessible affordable social housing and expanded health services, replace the Canada Emergency Response Benefit on an ongoing and permanent basis in a concerted effort to eradicate poverty and ensure the respect, dignity and security of all persons in respect of Canada’s domestic and international legal obligations.
I support Motion M-46.
I have spoken to MP Gazan; and while we may have differing views on the how, we both believe in the why of a guaranteed basic income and appreciate that this is a unique moment and opportunity in its pursuit.
Basic Income is a policy that can tackle so many of the challenges that Canadians and Canada, itself, are facing today and will face tomorrow.
A well-designed basic income program can chip away at poverty and inequality, support Canadians working in a more precarious job market, and help Canadians in transition.
It would give Canadians a sense of economic stability—dampening the anxiety that so many Canadians feel due to issues of affordability and the fear of future job insecurity. These financial uncertainties are key barriers to Canadians’ health and, as important, are major barriers to the ability of Canadians to invest in themselves, their on-going education and their ability to take entrepreneurial risks—all things that Canada will require to successfully compete and grow in a world of innovation.
I will continue to give my support and encouragement to any and all endeavours, such as M-46 that moves us forward on basic income and that aim to leave Canada and all Canadians better off.
Member of Parliament