Canadians speak up for Bill S-233

March 11, 2024

Canadian Basic Income activists sent hundreds of personal letters to members of the Senate Committee on National Finance urging them to support Bill S-233 for a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income. Below are some of their letters.

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Dear Senator MacAdam:

I am a long-time proponent of Basic Income and have supported Prince Edward Island’s proposal for a Basic Income:  Bill S-233 will answer many questions on Basic Income implementation and costs and is a positive exploratory piece of legislation that could very well change poverty reduction in Canada.  I worked for several years with low income lone mothers affected by food insecurity in PEI when I was a professor at Dalhousie University. Indeed, the honour of being appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada in November 2020 for my “influential research on health equity and food insecurity, and contributions to public health policies in Canada” was partially related to my work in PEI where the Basic Income movement has been incredibly strong.

I urge you to vote for S-233 to give the bill a chance to explore a promising public policy direction.

Dear Senator Dalphond

As you know, Bill S-233 (An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income) is one vote away from passage in Committee. I am writing to ask you to reconsider your position on this Bill.  

I see in your Senate of Canada biography that you are "well aware of [your] duties to represent Quebec, protect minorities and defend the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  I also noted your support for Bill C-262, legislation to ensure federal laws are harmonized with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In 2018 at the C.D. Howe Institute’s inaugural Regent Debate Senator Hugh SegalSenator Hugh Segal in debating in support of establishing a Universal Basic Income argued, [UBI] top-up for people who are beneath the poverty line. The 9 percent living beneath the poverty line? The 15 percent in rural Canada? The numbers in the Atlantic region are worse. What about our First Nation brothers and sisters who are at Third World levels of poverty?  Sir, I ask you to do your duty to represent not only Quebeckers but also the minorities, such as FNMI persons, migrant workers and refugees living in Canada who in 2024, still live below the poverty line. 

Dear Senator Loffreda

As you know, Bill S-233 (An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income) is one vote away from passage in Committee. I am writing to ask you to reconsider your position on this Bill.  

I read your essay, Canada Has an Affordability Crisis (Oct. 2023). I agree with your argument that we must never lose sight of the fact that adequate shelter is a fundamental human right and we are failing many of our citizens.  I hope that you will extend your sense of justice and compassion to those who struggle to live with an income that falls below the poverty line. 

Wayne Lewchuk, a professor emeritus in the school of labour studies and the department of economics at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. argues, [Parliament] can't not afford to implement basic income because we're at a point on the development of our economy or society where an increasing number of people are being left behind, and we need to provide them with the supports which allow them to be fully functional citizens in our society."  

Senator Loffreda, I urge you to vote in support of Bill S-233; support an economy the guarantees economic liberty and equality. 

Dear Senator MacAdam,

As you know, Bill S-233 (An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income) is one vote away from passage in Committee. I am writing to ask you to reconsider your position on this Bill.  

I have read about the work you did as PEI 's Auditor General.  I noticed your concerns about accountability in the Implementation of the AccessAbility Supports Program. Bill S-233 acknowledges the need for accountability and review. In Tabling of the Framework Point 5 the creators of the Bill call for yearly reviews of the effectiveness of the Framework and reports to Parliament related to the implementation and effectiveness of the framework. This Bill calls for a measured and considered approach to developing a framework that will guarantee a livable basic income for Canadian adults and temporary foreign workers and refugees.   

I urge you to vote in favour of Bill s-233, to vote in favour of a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income.  Vote in favour of economic liberty and equality for those whose income falls below the poverty line. 

RE: BILL S-233 – (An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income). 

Dear senator Dalphond, the time has come to establish a framework for a guaranteed livable income in our country. Times are changing, and many fellow citizens require now and in a changing economic and technologically driven world, support. This is an opportunity to do what is morally & ethically right. I respectfully urge you to support Bill S-233, and leave a meaningful legacy that will make Canada a better country.  

Please support Bill S-233 (An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income). 

As income inequality and unaffordability continues to grow, and the disruptive impact of technology leads to less security and stability for a growing list of industries and careers, a UBI can protect people from slipping through the ever-expanding cracks in our social safety net. A guaranteed annual income would help the many individuals and families that are struggling to pay for rent and basic needs, and the homeless people who do not qualify for other forms of assistance. It would also help to make it far less likely that job loss, divorce, family conflict, domestic violence, injury, or illness can result in insolvency or homelessness. Combined with the right housing policies and public services, UBI could be transformational in Canada’s response to poverty and homelessness. Please support Bill S-233 and help the many millions of struggling individuals and families across Canada.

I listened to many of the informative Bill S-233 presentations and very much hope and trust that the finance committee as a whole will recognize the efficacy and necessity of developing a Guaranteed Universal Basic Income and that, in order to move it to the next level, Bill S-233 will be forwarded to the House of Commons for further debate and consideration.

Not everyone will be aware of the situation on the ground, but I see it every day. Things are not going well for an increasing portion of the population (seniors, retirees, youth, parents, single parents, marginalized workers). The ongoing development of AI and the bit/ gig economy is becoming the norm and already is affecting our social fabric. Corporations continue to slash their workforce and reduce safety in order to increase profits. Inflation increases but wages are stagnant or squeezed. Employment in the 21st century no longer mimics the employment of the industrial era where anyone who wanted to work could find good, secure work. Maslowe's hierarchy of needs shows shelter and food as being the very basic of human needs. So, what happens when these needs are threatened?

I recently watched a video on one of the streaming apps or on local tv (can't remember which anymore - should have saved it) that claimed that even though the standard of living increasingly has been rising in the US, the population now is starting to show a declining life expectancy and the producers set out to find out what could be causing it. They narrowed it down to being caused by unrelenting stress.

Stress can be caused by a lack of security. The need for a sense of security is a basic necessity in the Maslowe hierarchy of human needs. Once someone is guaranteed shelter and food, they can deal with other things like education, career, compassion and self-actualization. People crave a sense of security in their lives; not having security breeds stress and too much stress eventually kills us (but can show as violence or illness first). If it's true that many in the US are dying earlier than before because of too much stress, it might explain the general discontent and revolutionary tendencies brewing south of the 49th parallel.

I love Canada and have every hope for a peaceful and secure evolution through our technology-driven era and beyond. We all have a role to play to ensure that as many people as possible are given opportunities to succeed. I believe that a non-judgmental universal guaranteed basic income would help to equalize relationships, reduce the institutionalization of poverty, and build a strong democratic community.

Senator ……, I am writing you to strongly urge you, to beg you, to support the passage of this Bill.

We’ve seen, here in Canada and elsewhere in the world, how a Guaranteed Basic Universal Income Bill can effect so many critical changes in a society, in a country

And we’ve seen, right here at home, how desperately something like that—a dependable basic income—can accomplish such changes here.

A GBUI would address the continuing and increasing issue of poverty in our country, in a stable, respectful, and dependable manner.

If it is effectively implemented, it also provides an opportunity to consolidate all the various population-specific supports into a coherent, comprehensive, and coordinated overall envelope. This would make life so much simpler for Canadians with multiple needs, rather than requiring them to go from pillar to post, for a bandaid here, a bandaid there. It would also provide an opportunity to reduce the bureaucratic demands and expenses associated with all the “bandaids”.

We will probably never totally eliminate poverty in Canada.

But we can make it a less overpowering issue.

Reduce institutionalized barriers for those in need.

Manage the increasingly-desperate needs for support for Canadian citizens.

Reduce some of the stigma and discrimination assigned to recipients of income supports.

Increase the chances for children in under-served families to have a more stable life, and an improved shot at a positive future. This is to their benefit—and to ours, as a society, as a country.

The only barrier to implementing such a program is ideology. That ideology is no longer founded in reality, if it ever was.

Our country, the citizens of our country, need and deserve the advantages of such a program.

I live in a poor rural Northeastern Ontario area. I see, every day, the damages done to children, to families, to a community, and to the existing services, of letting things go on as they are.

We cannot afford this, as a country.

And we cannot continue to stigmatize and deprive citizens harmed by the “same old, same old” thinking.

PLEASE support the passage of this Bill.


Dear Senator MacAdam,

As you are well aware, an important vote on the future of UBI is coming shortly in your committee.

As a proud Canadian, living in such a rich country facing many socioeconomic challenges, the implementation of UBI would ensure that every Canadian would have a guaranteed income floor, much like CERB, alleviating a major financial concerns going forward.

Past, real world experiments like MINCOME in Manitoba in the 1970s concretely showed how positive UBI would be for everyone.

I strongly urge you to vote in the affirmative to support UBI so that Canada can truly become a 21st century country that ensures all of its citizens fully realize their potential, unencumbered by basic financial concerns.

We can and must do this!

I am writing to ask you to support Bill 233. On December 16, 2021, MP Leah Gazan introduced Bill C-223, which, if passed, will establish the first national framework for the implementation of a sufficient guaranteed basic income for all people over the age of 17 in Canada. The same bill was introduced as Bill S-233 in the Senate by Senator Kim Pate. It is a coordinated effort by the House of Commons and the Senate to promote basic income. 

Market forces are becoming increasingly inadequate to ensure that the entire population can enjoy a dignified life. It has been shown during the Covid pandemic and in other cases, that citizens receiving a basic benefit do not waste it. On the contrary, they use the economic space that this basic income guarantee provides them, to create jobs and develop talent that would otherwise have gone unused. 

In addition, numerous socio-economic studies (*) have shown that almost all social problems — life expectancy, mental health, violence, illiteracy — are greatly reduced as the economic disparity between social levels decreases. 

I urge you to support this bill with all urgency, and I thank you very much.

(*) Ref. 'The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone’ Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

Mr. Dalphond,

Je vous écris pour vous solliciter à endorser le projet de loi 233. Le 16 décembre 2021, la députée Leah Gazan a présenté le projet de loi C-223, qui, s'il est adopté, établira le premier cadre national pour la mise en place d’un revenu de base garanti suffisant pour toutes les personnes de plus de 17 ans au Canada. 

Le même texte a été présenté comme projet de loi S-233 au Sénat par la sénatrice Kim Pate. C'est un effort coordonné de la Chambre des communes et du Sénat pour promouvoir le revenu de base.  

Les forces de marché sont de moins en moins adéquates à assurer que toute la population puisse jouir d’une vie digne.  Il a été démontré pendant la pandémie Covid et en d’autre cas, que les citoyens recevant un benefit de base ne le gaspillent pas.  Au contraire ils utilisent le marge d’action que cette garantie d’un revenu de base leur donne pour créer des emplois et développer des talents qui auraient été inutilisés sans cette base de revenus.  De plus, nombreuse  recherches socio-économiques (*) ont démontré que presque tous les problèmes sociaux —espérance de vie, santé mentale, violence, analphabétisme sont de beaucoup réduits lors que la disparité économique entre les niveaux sociaux décrois.     

Je vous prie d’endorser ce projet de loi avec toute urgence et je vous en remercie chaleureusement.

Dear Senator Dalphond, 

It is my understanding that the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance is preparing to vote on whether to send Bill S-233 back to the Senate for Third Reading.

I urge you to vote in favour of the motion. The benefits of a Universal Basic Income are so crucial to those Canadians living in poverty.

I quote from an article from the United Church’s Broadview magazine: “In March 2020, the federal government rolled out one of the swiftest and most effective anti-poverty measures in Canadian history.” As with any national program, particularly those involving money it had unintended consequences both positive and negative. The positive, some families were lifted out of poverty. Their  income, for some was greater than other programs they were on. This provided them with opportunities they had not had before like going to school or providing recreation opportunities for children. The negative, because it happened as an emergency, there were major difficulties re who was entitled to receive the money. Some who did not need help received it and some were made to pay the money back.

Evelyn Forget has written books about the Canadian experience with a Basic Income particularly from the volumes of data that were part of the program in Dauphin, Manitoba from 1975-79. Her research put to rest many of the myths of what happens when a family is given needed resources.

Former Senator Hugh Segal in his book “Bootstraps Need Boots” outlined why he believed that a Basic Annual Income was imperative for lifting families, especially children out of poverty.

As a former Public Health nurse, I know the importance of an adequate income for the health of individuals and families.

Please vote in favour of the motion.

I am writing to you as a research scientist specializing in Artificial Intelligence, currently residing in Montreal. I urge you to vote in favor of sending Bill S-233, An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income, to Third Reading. Bill S-233 will help to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income. My plea for your support of this bill stems from a combination of my professional insights and personal experiences, rather than from idealistic views.

As a native of Venezuela and a former resident of Spain, I have witnessed firsthand how economic volatility can erode the foundations of democracy and disrupt social cohesion. My professional journey in the field of AI has further cemented my understanding of how technological advancements, particularly in the gig economy, are fundamentally reshaping the job market. This transformation, while innovative, leaves many at risk of falling through the expanding cracks of our current social safety net.

Bill S-233 proposes a guaranteed basic income, a concept that I support not out of idealism, but from a pragmatic perspective. In my field, we often deal with data-driven solutions to complex problems. From this standpoint, a basic income is a streamlined, efficient tool to buffer the disruptive impacts of technology on employment. It is a practical approach to foster stability in a rapidly evolving economic landscape.

Your tenure as the Auditor General of Prince Edward Island and your subsequent role in the Senate, especially considering your focus on fiscal responsibility and transparency, positions you uniquely to appreciate the proactive nature of this legislation. A guaranteed basic income is not just a social measure; it is a strategic, fiscal tool to preemptively manage the economic disruptions that come with technological advancement.

I urge you to consider the long-term benefits of Bill S-233, not just as a means of addressing current economic disparities, but as a forward-looking strategy to prepare Canada for the inevitable changes that lie ahead. Your support in sending this bill to Third Reading would be a testament to our country's commitment to innovation, fiscal foresight, and the well-being of all Canadians.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I am hopeful for your support and am available for any further discussion or queries you may have regarding my perspective on this matter.

Hello Senators, 

I'm writing to you about Bill S-233, the basic income bill. We need your approval for a third reading. 

Please don't let the corporate interests persuade you that this is not something worth doing. It is time for a basic income. With every passing day, more jobs are getting automated or taken over by AI. There just won't be enough jobs for all Canadians in the future. To consign these Canadians to a life of poverty or homelessness is wrong. Not only that, but it will destabilize the nation and make us weaker in the world economy. 

There is plenty of money to subsidize this. Canada and America have a fiat currency. The monetary system of this country is more than capable of providing this. I've read in Stephanie Kelton's book, The Deficit Myth, that most politicians don't understand this. She was an economist who worked on the Senate budget committee for Bernie Sanders' campaign. Please read this book if you get the chance. It's very short and easily accessible. The fact that the Canadian government is a currency issuer makes it very easy for them to provide a basic income without adverse effects on the economy. 

The government already gives away free money. They just give to corporations who through their greed just pocket the money for themselves(executives, CEOs, board of directors etc) rather than investing in employees or R&D. Boeing is the clearest example of this. They were given free money during the pandemic and now look what's going on with their planes malfunctioning. They immediately fired workers after receiving those payments. Why not invest in the citizens of a nation? Give citizens the ability to pursue education or self-development the way they choose to. You will be giving people the time and space to figure out the skills they need for the future. Research has already shown that all these bureaucratic government programs to the help the needy are more expensive than just providing a basic income.

Please set an example for the world and help usher Canada into the future of society. To cling to outdated notions or modes of society is dangerous in such times. The idea that those who work are the only ones who deserve to live is an inhuman outlook to hold especially in a society of abundance and continual technological advancement.   

Please join us on the right side of history and help make basic income a reality. 

Dear Senators,

I am writing to add my voice in support of sending Bill S-233 to Third Reading.

As I understand, you are among a few committee senators who are considering not supporting a Third Reading. I am, humbly, asking you to give pause for sober second thought and support the Bill.

Without knowing the details of your reasoning, I'll skip over the standard talking points regarding previous studies and their understood benefits, as well as the usual rebuttals to concerns over the cost to implement. These are all things you will have read and considered throughout your committee participation.

What I will say is this: I, along with my family, are struggling to keep up with the cost of living. The aftereffects of the Covid-19 pandemic have only added to pre-existing financial pressures. There are only so many hours in the day one can spend at various jobs, only so many hours in the day to spend on saving money. I have gone hungry to ensure I can pay my bills because I have seen what the economy does to those who do not.

Contrary to frustratingly persistent public discourse, it actually takes a lot of time, energy, and resources to be poor. There is zero time to be idle, and I've never met a single person who has enjoyed the time they've spent not being employed or being able to cover their expenses.

I am in my early 40s and live in Southwestern Ontario. I have a background in journalism and digital media, but I have spent more time working in warehouses and towing aircraft than I ever did earning money in the field I paid to study in. I have maintained a solid credit rating through strategic starving, but in the back of my mind, I know I am one major expense away from financial ruin. A car I couldn't afford to properly maintain sits idle because I cannot afford to fix it after it inevitably broke.

I have all but given up on the idea of ever owning a home, or even another car, electric or otherwise. And I know I am not alone.

My parents are struggling. My mother, previously an early childhood educator, is already liquidating her belongs in anticipation of not being able to afford a mortgage renewal. Last year my father, a practicing professional engineer, was living in his car.

My siblings are struggling. My brother's family is rent-locked in a small townhouse in Ottawa that they had planned to stay at for just a couple years back in 2017--and I just heard he did not get his government contract renewed and has to find another job. His wife, who recently put herself through design school to add a second income to their household, faces the current job market being turned over to AI knowing she may have to be the primary source of income on top of repaying school expenses. My sister, an accomplished actor and writer, needs 2 jobs and 2 roommates to get by. And my other brother has to spend everything he can make to afford medication for bipolar disorder--a significant hindrance to regular employment.

I could go on...

These are the lives of a growing number of Canadians, each one working harder and harder and getting less and less back each day. This nation's advanced economy ought to be providing enough prosperity for all of its citizens, but in this current economic situation, regular people are being denied the full benefits of Canada's success. People are being denied their right to seek their own places of residence and employment. There is no budget for happiness, for enjoyment, for peace and relaxation after a decent, honest, and sometimes difficult day's work. The economy is stagnating because more and more people cannot afford to do anything other than go to work and, hopefully, return home. My fellow citizens of lesser means are being left behind while their work (if the can get it) is continually devalued by employers who will not keep wages paced with increasing costs.

We cannot participate in our own nation's economy. How does that make any sense?

There isn't a life I know that wouldn't be immediately transformed for the better if a guaranteed livable basic income program were implemented in this country. I know mine would. What would I do? I'd help my mum pay for her house. I'd get it painted so it looks great when it's time to sell it. I'd get my car fixed. I'd resume my hobby of repairing broken electronics. I'd go out for dinner from time to time. I'd save. I'd invest. There is a very good chance every last dollar of my entitlement would be put right back into the economy each month.

I was previously opposed to any sort of basic income program. I, like many others, assumed it would remove the incentive to seek gainful work. But I changed my mind when I was laid-off just before Covid shut everything down. I qualified for EI, and I was able to, at least temporarily, stay in my apartment and continue buying groceries. Though I eventually had to leave my home, I still considered myself lucky to remain as long as I did, still consider myself grateful for the support I received to survive. It was almost a year before I had a regular job again. I know others were, and still are, not as fortunate.

Previous proposals outline how to fund a guaranteed livable basic income program without increasing taxes for most Canadians. But even if that were not the case, I would happily pay more in taxes to be sure that my friends, family, and neighbours have the reassurance and support they deserve for the lives they work for. I would consider it money well spent. I would consider it an investment in our nation's future.

I ask again, please, support Bill S-233.

Dear senators

I write to you primarily to encourage you to support the bill S-233 before you to help equalize some of the economic pressures forcing so many people to choose and juggle between major survival basics of food, shelter and warmth. I do so for the following realities and considerations:

Food, shelter and warmth have become a massive commodified percentage of the average Canadian’s precariously morphing income stream. Clearly, a Universal Basic Income would address a long over-due societal wage-disparity by alleviating concerns about the variable cost of food, shelter and warmth as citizens constantly need to adapt to the extreme price changes within our current economic model.

A Universal Basic Income would essentially help create a bi-parallel socio-economic system whereby survival-based necessities, including education and healthcare are covered so that people are no longer exploited by the commodification of these basic needs.

The promise of the future was always presented to citizens literally as culture-wide fair-sharing of the benefits of society’s decades-long investment in vast technological advancements including robotics, automation and telecommuting (which addresses other issues of energy waste and pollution).

Personally, I have been self-employed as an artist and musician all my life and I can attest to the struggles now facing the wider strata of our society, particularly for our young people, starting a family and just trying to get by.

As a musician I have watched how technological advances slowly reduced my efforts at a sustainable income dwindle significantly over the decades. The technology has led to a software transformation that has removed ‘hard copy’ delivery systems like saleable CDs, vinyl and tapes from an artist’s ability to generate a revenue stream for their works. Even mp3 digitally downloadable music has been preempted by an endless number of companies offering millions of songs for ‘free’ via a monthly subscription service which pays artists a mere .004 cent royalty on each replay. This essentially means that to make what would have been the equivalent of a single album sale of $10, a song must now play streams of 250,000 times! 

Quite apart from an overall societal upgrade, the arts and culture would benefit greatly by a Universal Basic Income. Such an overall cultural support system would realize a lot of peoples’ genuine optimism and faith they put in supporting a future featuring all these technological advancements.

Finally, I have often mentioned to people that like Bill Gates has said, robots paying an income tax on their earnings like the rest of us is all the funding required for society to benefit from the innovations of our futuristic society,

Thank you for considering or reconsidering your support of this important bill.

Dear Senator,

I am writing to ask you to support Bill S-233 (An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income). This is an historic moment for Canada to pursue a greater level of equality, fairness, and opportunity for all.

I have been interested in guaranteed livable income since university, when I wrote a paper on some of the previous pilot experiments in Canada. Now, working with seniors in the field of Recreation Therapy, I can see how many Canadians need a greater level of guaranteed income support to provide care for their older relatives. Family caregiving often causes massive financial strain for people who may need to travel more or take time off work. Having guaranteed monthly financial support will at least soften the impact of this challenging experience.

In the early days of COVID-19, I also benefited from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. I wrote an article about this experience, and how it provided a window into the possibilities of an extended guaranteed income program. You can read more about my experience here.

Finally, a lot of people think of guaranteed income supplements as a "handout." I prefer to see them as a dividend for the wealth and value that is ultimately created by workers and consumers, but unfairly distributed to CEOs. Where would Galen Weston be without the people who stock shelves at Loblaws? Those of us who work hard to keep the economy running deserve to share in its profits.

For these reasons, and more, I urge you to support Bill S-233. Thank you for your time and your work.

Senator Dalphond,

I'm writing to ask you to reconsider your position on Bill S-233 (An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income), and vote yes. As a student of UBI programs since 2019 and a passionate advocate, I can honestly say that I'm convinced on the very real benefits of UBI, and equally convinced that almost all concerns and doubts are baseless. For a great summary of actual data, please see this excellent thread on the observed benefits of UBI: The author of this thread has collected facts and statistics from known UBI pilots worldwide. He started collecting these in 1998 and is still going strong, currently with 98 posts in the thread. 

The evidence of real, observed benefits related to UBI is simply overwhelming. All we are asking for is a chance to study it properly and formulate a plan. Please vote yes.

I have never written a senator before but am very concerned to hear you may not support the bill for basic income.  I was a newspaper journalist and then went back to school to become a university professor.  My mother was raised in poverty and she carried that shame all her life including her bunions from wearing shoes always too small and the fear of hunger from not having enough to eat as a child.  My area of research is poverty and I have interviewed more than 100 single moms on Ontario welfare/workfare over three decades.  I have always been appalled that since I began these interviews 30 years ago it was impossible to live on welfare, pay average rent and live according to the Canada Food Guide.   And that was before the Harris 22% cut to welfare that we have never recovered from.  

I urge you to change this so low-income people through no fault of their own can pay their rent, eat nutritious food and live with dignity.  Basic Income is the only policy that can assure that outcome.  We owe it to allow all to live humane lives free from needless suffering.  

You can make an absolute difference by voting in favour of Bill S-233.

Hello Senators Dalphond, MacAdam and Loffreda, 

I urge you to support Bill S-233 for a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income. 

I work in the charitable sector, in a philanthropic organization and have the privilege to learn from all kinds of non-profits and charitable organizations that work to support people in my local Calgary community. These organizations address challenges that are intersecting and would be significantly and positively influenced by a minimum income floor. Challenges such as:

  • Food insecurity and access to culturally appropriate foods: The Proof Report on Household Food Insecurity evaluates and speaks to the value of a guaranteed minimum income (more found here
  • Supporting Newcomers: With in-demand skills working survival jobs just to meet their basic needs with little ability to pursue local credentials or advocate for their rights. These circumstances make people vulnerable to predatory lending and private career colleges that leave them in worse financial shape than when they arrived.
  • Mental Health: That worsens under economic stress, Canadian Mental Health Association has called for a Basic Income. 
  • Women's housing insecurity and violence: Where lack of income means women survive by doing things like exchanging sex for shelter. The Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network recommends implementing a basic income on page 14 of their Dec 7, 2023 briefing.
  • Indigenous women impacted by colonization: Call for Justice 4.5 in the Final Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls calls for a basic income.

Community mobilization and non-profit supports will always play an important role in addressing these issues. Individual donors, philanthropic institutions and funding from all levels of government will and must continue to support these efforts. Provinces must continue to provide health, education and social supports. The federal government must continue to support food infrastructure, newcomers, housing and reconciliation. Basic Income isn’t a cure-all. 

I ask you to imagine the positive feedback loop and the long term financial benefit if non-profits and community groups could put more of their resources towards changing people’s lives for the better rather than stop-gapping their most urgent basic needs. The societal benefit of more people having more dignity and decision-making ability in their own lives is difficult to measure and yet abundantly clear. Canada deserves the opportunity fully explore this option (including learning from data from American cities, Alaska, Kenya, Finland).

I’d like to end on a note of gratitude. I find the polarized political environment exhausting and distressing. Reading the Feb. 28 standing committee minutes provided some relief. It’s clear that you and the Senate members are considering our path forward with seriousness and care. Thank you for your important work.

Dear Senator Loffreda, 

I am writing to urge you to vote in favour of Bill S-233. 

During the pandemic, I received CERB payments for several months, for which I am extremely grateful. My industry was entirely shutdown and I assure you, the money went straight back out of my account to grease the wheels of our economy, especially locally. To me, this was as fine a demonstration of the impact of a UBI as we could possibly ever need. 

I believe, and studies have confirmed, that this is how a Universal Basic Income will affect our economy. People will use this stipend to stay in their homes, keep the heat and lights on, and reasonable food on the table. To get to and from work, keep their cars on the road, and themselves and their kids, if they have them, in decent clothes. The word 'Basic' is in there for a reason. 

If we cannot, via our governments, require that wages escalate to keep pace with current inflation, then this is the only way the  basic needs I've listed will be possible for many Canadians. I shudder to think of the outcomes should you and your colleagues vote 'no'. 

Thank you for your service and attention to this highly important matter.

Dear Senator ...

My name is __________ and I am a 62-year-old woman living in Vancouver, British Columbia.  My mom, __________, introduced me to the idea of a guaranteed basic income over 20 years ago and since then I have been a passionate advocate. I have stayed abreast of the data gathered from various pilot projects around the world, and I'm well aware of the arguments for and against basic income.  My support for guaranteed base income in Canada has never wavered. And I believe we have never needed it more.

With advances in technology and their impacts on the workforce, with the growing impacts of climate change, and with the growing divide between rich and poor, the need to provide a basic dependable income  is clear.  The evidence is clear.  Health outcomes improve, most people work more not less, and we all benefit. And of course we save money on top of it all.

Although my mom passed 6 years ago, I know she would be proud to know that I am writing you this letter in support of Bill S233. Please consider this letter coming from both of us.

Thank you!

Dear Minister Pierre Dalphond,

I am writing to voice my opinion on Bill S-233 (An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income).

I have been following the pros and cons of a guaranteed livable basic income for several years, taking in the pros and cons with an open and curious mind. Organizations such as UBI Works, Campaign 2000, hard working Politicians who have brought forward & supported this Bill, and individuals with lived experience in poverty all have inspired my position on a GLBI.

For the Love of People

As a humanitarian, I support Bill S-233 for the well being of every Canadian, knowing that without the basic necessities of life - dependable food & shelter, no one can experience quality of life or reach their full potential. While many are able to secure their basic needs and achieve success with hard work and determination, many, with the same efforts, are not. We cannot ever judge or fully understand how each person is impacted by conditions, life events, or trauma that led to such outcomes. Further, our current social support system is not only inadequate, but due to so many entry points, qualifications, regulations, and administrative requirements - it is also expensive!

For the Strength of Ecomony

Which leads to the second point. Through trials and data collection of basic income studies, I was truly surprised to find evidence of a reduced cost and economic benefit of delivering basic income programs. Intentional trials and studies for basic income date back to the 1970s, and evidence consistently shows a positive cash flow due to entry into education, higher paying jobs, more tax contributions, and less dependency on social supports. In addition, the supports were delivered with much less qualifying criteria and shorter processes, making it far less expensive to administer than traditional social supports. The most recent unintentional poverty reduction event was via the Emergency Benefits delivered during Covid. Campaign 2000 has gathered the facts and reported on this unintentional - yet highly effective - outcome of poverty reduction during the deliverance of the pandemic benefits, as reported in this Article. And yet, these achievements were not celebrated; benefits that delivered these results were not only discontinued, but more money was funded to claw back pandemic benefits from the poor, who do not have the means to repay. This is simply short-sighted and very poor management of government funds. And quite frankly, shockingly inhumane treatment of the poor. I fully support the combined efforts of Campaign 2000 and UBI Works in their determination to end poverty in Canada.

Buckle Up ... AI is Here!

I believe Canada is poised to be a leader today in what future generations will recognize as a visionary pivotal point in our social-economic strength. Other countries will, inevitably follow. There is no question that progressive economic changes in the way we work and live are compounding the need for a guaranteed livable basic income. The technology boom is fast becoming overshadowed by the power of the AI Spring. Love it or hate it, Canadians will experience the effects of Artificial Intellegence, for better or for worse. Without preparedness, Canada - and any other country - will struggle to adapt, finding itself in conflict with, rather than harmony with the fifth industrial revolution that is AI. Recognizing the agency we have now and the systems that must be modernised will allow us to embrace the positive aspects of the AI revolution. With an intellegent eye to the future, and efffective policy making today, AI and its coming innovations will transition Canada into its new and improved social-economic setting.

This is a Legacy Canadians will never forget.  Bill S-233 - Vote Yes!


I understand that you are currently opposed to Bill S-233, which I find rather hard to comprehend since you are a member of the Progressive Senators Group.  So, I hope you will change your mind - and if not, I feel you should stop calling yourself progressive.


Dear Senator,

I am writing to express my strong support for Bill S-233, which proposes to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable income. As a retired military veteran with 22 years of service, I have seen firsthand the challenges faced by many Canadians, particularly those in need of financial support. I believe that implementing a guaranteed livable income would not only provide immediate relief to those struggling to make ends meet but also create a foundation for long-term social and economic benefits.

One of the key advantages of a guaranteed livable income is its potential to lift individuals and families out of poverty. By ensuring that all Canadians have access to a basic level of income, we can help alleviate financial stress and improve overall well-being. This, in turn, can lead to better health outcomes, reduced reliance on social assistance programs, and increased opportunities for education and employment.

Moreover, a guaranteed livable income has the potential to transform our society by enabling individuals to reach their full potential. When people are not burdened by financial insecurity, they are better able to pursue their passions, start businesses, and contribute to their communities. This, in essence, shifts the focus from managing poverty to fostering a culture of empowerment and innovation.

In conclusion, I urge you to support Bill S-233 and work towards establishing a national framework for a guaranteed livable income. This is not only a matter of social justice but also a smart investment in our collective future. Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Greetings Honourable Senator,

This afternoon I attended an after service meeting at our church. The agenda: homelessness, food insecurity and advocacy.

Several of us had attended an evening out-of-the-cold program where we saw reasonably capable but unfortunate citizens who did not have a secure place to sleep. Others had visited a secondary school in a neighbourhood with poorly maintained apartments and families who, in many cases were sending children to school with inadequate breakfasts. We will continue to discuss how our congregation can help. And, we will call upon local councillors and politicians to be aware and be adequately proactive.

But, as you know, we are addressing the symptoms, not the systemic reasons for these serious needs.

The needs are national and well-meaning congregations will never be able to address them all. Why are federal leaders unwilling to establish a national program which can enable folk to overcome financial challenges and be in a better position to afford accommodation, feed their children, seek applied educational opportunities, etc?

We must, as other countries have already, take a basic liveable income seriously. Some years ago I heard the late eminent Senator Hugh Segal on CBC. Among the many wise messages he shared was the reality of individual civil servants who were involved in the disbursement of many forms of financial assistance. Protecting their budgets was extremely important. But recipients had to apply to qualify for assistance. Many programs do this. Many citizens are partially helped on a qualified basis. What complications could be removed from their lives if a liveable basic income were a reality?

Please support Bill S233.

Dear Senator Dalphond,

Would you please vote for the adoption of Bill S-233. I understand that it is still under discussion in a committee on which you are a voting member.

This Bill, if passed in Canada, will provide the solution to many problems we are currently facing and which will only get worse if ignored.

1. It will largely eliminate poverty and homelessness.
2. It will spur private investment in low cost housing.
3. It will create jobs and encourage employment. When poor people are housed and have enough money for basics they have a chance to be able to function again.
4. You know that low income people spend all of their money, which improves the economy. It all goes to business people within a very short time.
5. For marginally functioning people it will give a chance to re-educate themselves and improve their lives.
6. Some people will be freed up to start a business.
7. Wealthy people will have a higher income which will be mostly taxed back to the government.
8. This increased business income will be taxed back. 
9. I’m hoping that people who are currently on some type of government program already will have it replaced by this Universal Basic Income. I’m receiving both CPP and OAS for example. One of both could be folded into UBI, so that people like me would simply have a different payer issuing the same or slightly different amount each month. 
10. Many other government pay-out programs could be replaced with a much less expensive administration cost.

UBI Works has demonstrated that the cost of this program can easily be handed. For these and many other reasons, it’s important to keep Bill S-233 moving along. Would you please do your part in helping Canada be a better place to live and work.

Please vote for Bill S-233.

Dear Senator —

The true measure of a government is how it cares for its citizens especially the sick, the elderly, the poor and other disadvantaged citizens.

I believe that the first obligation of a democratic government is to see to the well-being of its citizens, to conduct the government’s business in such a way that no one goes hungry or homeless. That means structuring the tax code in an equitable manner so that the wealthiest individuals and corporations pay at least the same percentage of their income as those with much less; or perhaps proportional to the benefits they receive from doing business in Canada.

Through CPP, OAS, EI, and other programs, the Canadian government already provides a Basic Income to many people, my husband and me included. Without CPP and OAS we would be among the many trying to survive on the streets. I would not be able to.

For a country that is among the wealthiest in the world, it is a shameful and obscene disgrace that anyone is  living homeless or hungry.Canada needs to find a way to provide a Basic Income to anyone who needs it, and there are many who do.

Dear Senators

I understand that the Senate needs your vote in order to move S-233 on Universal Basic Income (UBI) forward to a the House of Commons.

I STRONGLY URGE you all to vote in favour of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) . We have personally seen the power of a guaranteed income on our son who for a time lived on the streets. We support him and he has a basic income through social assistance - only because he has a disability. He has managed to live a productive life and raise his twin sons with a Basic Income. Whereas before he had guaranteed income he was in and out of jail as a juvenile and finally as a young offender. Pilot projects in Manitoba and Prince Edward Island have data that show the power of this support, and the cost savings rather than the costs of incarceration or hospitalization when people are desperate and struggling in poverty.

Dear Senator MacAdam;

It is rare for me to write to a member of the Senate in Ottawa. However, I am doing so out of my hope for a better Canada for all.

My concern is that there is a great amount of disparity and inequity in this great country of ours. I live in Toronto, one of the most affluent cities in Canada. However, and you may be aware of this, one in ten people in Toronto are dependant on food banks to keep body and soul together. I hope things are better for your neighbours in Prince Edward Island.

While there are many reasons why people must go to a food bank for one of the necessities of life, we need to keep in mind that 29 per cent of the visits to a food bank in Toronto during 2023 had lost their job. A further 20 per cent were “new to the area”. That amounts to nearly one-half (49%) of the people at Daily Bread supported food banks in Toronto. ( Also, thirty-one per cent of food bank users went a day without eating.

I live in Scarborough where the number of people visiting food banks increased by 36 per cent in 2023. You may guess why I am writing to you about Bill - S233. It is an Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed liveable basic income. I urge you to support this Act, which is one step towards dignity and respect for millions of our Canadian people.  ( I am aware that in Prince Edward Island there is a Basic Income proposal that is underway. )

If there is any doubt about inequity here in Canada, I suggest that a brief glance at the earnings of the CEOs will provide some perspective. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives publishes an annual list of the top salaries and it can be accessed at:

When people have more money:

  • people can spend more locally
  • people can go back to school and not have to take out student loans for living expenses
  • people losing jobs to technology and otherwise can now have something to live on
  • people working in precarious jobs with topsy-turvy hours can now have a base to protect their income

Many years ago, Canadians pushed for universal healthcare, they pushed for social security payments for seniors, a national pharmacare program is in the works, and now we must push for the guaranteed livable income until it too becomes reality.  You have there power to change lives for many, many Canadians by supporting Bill - S233. That would be putting hope into action!

I am putting hope into action by taking this rare action of writing to a senator.

Honorable Sénateur Dalphond,

Ayant revu plusieurs des positions que vous avez prises sur des sujets variés dans votre role de Sénateur, je vois que vous avez proposé des approches sensible et humanitaire. Je vous prie de continuer dans cette ligne et donner votre consentement au passage du projet de loi S-233 - Loi concernant l'élaboration d'un cadre national sur le revenu de base garanti suffisant.

Vous connaissez tous les arguments en faveur pour ce projet de loi.  Il est essentiel maintenant que vous démontriez votre endossement et y affixiez votre signature.  

Je vous en remercie profondément.

Honorable Senator MacAdam,

After reviewing many of the positions you have taken both in the Senate and in your illustrious career and engaged citizen, my esteem for your judgement and your humanity is affirmed. 

I call on these same qualities for you to affix your approving signature to Bill S-233 -   An Act to develop a national framework for an adequate guaranteed basic income.  You know all the arguments in favour of this bill.  

It is essential now that you demonstrate your endorsement and affix your signature to it. I thank you very much for doing so. 

Yours sincerely,

Onorabile Senatore Loffreda,

Avendo preso conoscenza di parecchie delle sue posizioni da Lei nel Senato, nella sua vita privata, nei suoi impegni nella comunità e nella sua carriera professionale, la mia stima per la sua saggezza e i suoi giudizi é stata affermata.  

La prego ferventemente di rimanere fedele a questa sua tradizione apponendo la sua firma al progetto di legge S-233 - An Act to develop a national framework for an adequate guaranteed basic income/ Loi concernant l'élaboration d'un cadre national sur le revenu de base garanti suffisant.  

Lei ben conosce tutti gli argomenti in favore per questa legislazione. É ora essenziale che, firmando questo progetto di legge, lei dimostri il suo spirito comunitario e la sua integrità morale e intellettuale.  

Con tanti altri attraverso il Canada, le sono profondamente riconoscente. Sinceramente,

Dear Senator

Bill S-233 (An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income) is very important legislation that seeks to change the playing field for impoverished Canadians of all stripes. With a basic income, we know from past history and trial periods such as the one in  Manitoba from 1974 - 1979. It would work alongside other key social supports and programs such as those related to health care, housing affordability, labour protections and access to education.  It would replace programs like welfare, income assistance and Employment insurance which immediately provide a great deal of the funding necessary for this program.  funding is also made available by reduced levels of policing, law-enforcement, incarceration, use of hospital, emergency rooms for day-to-day medical care[the highest cost medical care possible]

It would represent an amount sufficient to afford necessities and to provide economic stability. Previous studies have also shown that there is not a significant decrease in hours worked. Other benefits include higher education levels, and hence a better educated and equipped workforce, more satisfying work as well as better physical and mental health all leading to reduced [financial] support distributed in those areas. We have also seen lower levels of homelessness and crime related to having stable income. See Basic Income for Canadians by Canadian Economist Evelyn Forget.

Poverty is to be more endemic and pernicious in minority populations, which also suffer from greater health [mental and physical] problems.  This is particularly so with First Nations who have been systemically, separated, and isolated on reserves, and historically suppressed in residential schools as well as reserve life.   Immigrants, refugees, People of Colour and 2SLGBTQIA+ people also experience greater than average poverty as do women. Commensurate with this poverty is higher suicide rates, mental ill health [esp. depression and anxiety] addiction, violence, more health care required,  legislated and higher enforced levels of foster care and lower quality of life all around.

Much of the cost of Basic Income  will be offset by reductions in the affiliated areas that I've tried to illustrate in this brief email to you. Please consider this as you move to make your decision on this important proposed legislation.

Your support is crucial. I trust your good judgement to help us all move forward to a more egalitarian and healthier Canada.

I'm doing well, and earning a pretty substantial income as a computer scientist, but that wasn't always true.

I only got to attend university when Ontario and Canada briefly offered loans and grants to cover my entire tuition. Otherwise I'd be hugely underemployed, working at Motor Wheel or as a car mechanic.

I urge you to send Bill S-233, to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income, on to third reading, for the Senate to consider.

From a very practical point of view, having a basic income would let people, who are like I was, to advance to the middle class and pay more taxes.

Dear Senators,

I plead with you to vote yes to Bill S-233.  For people to have access to the care they need will take the pressure off our public care systems and also law enforcement.  But mainly, it will give people the dignity they need to get on with their lives.

This is SO important!  Do give it your best thought!

Cher Senator Dalphond 

In 1970, Senator David Croll chaired the Special Senate Committee on Poverty.  In the empassioned foreword to that excellent report, the Committee stated its  first and main recommendation: a guaranteed basic income.   How sad that the government of the day did not act on this.  Now 54 years later, you and your colleagues have the privileged opportunity to put this forward again.  Sadly, on certain indicators- the level of homelessness and the exorbitant numbers of our fellow citizens forced to use food banks--the levels of poverty have skyrocketed.    

I have been actively lobbying for a basic income guarantee for ten years.   I implore you, Senator Dalphond, to vote for Bill C-233.  

Thank you. 

Professor Emeritus

Queen’s University.

Dear Senators Dalphond, MacAdam, and Loffredo

I am privileged to have a good Government of Canada pension which has made it possible for me to care for my 67 year old spouse who was a judge and retired following his diagnosis of Parkinson's and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. We live well because we don't have to worry about money.

Dear Senator Loffreda:  you tweeted this week that" Had a wonderful evening this week at the OCM “Orchestre Classique De Montréal” concert!  The Montreal cultural scene never fails to impress. The performances of Morricone and Rota were a real treat for the senses!  If you're in the city, I highly recommend it for an incredible musical experience."

How wonderful would it be if UBI allowed more people  the choice to attend such a concert?

Cher Sénateur Dalphond: Vous étiez avocat. Vous connaissez bien le secteur judiciaire. Imaginez vous, à cause de maladie ou malchance, de ne pas pouvoir participer dans votre communauté par ce que vous n'avez pas les moyens. Vous, plus que d'autres, savez qu'un programme de base universel permet une participation communautaire, et que cette participation réduit le risque de tomber entre les craques - donc réduit les frais de coûts judiciaires.

Dear Senator MacAdam, We are the same age and have both had long careers in public service. You have been an Auditor general. You understand how the numbers work in the short and long term. UBI will create a safety net that will strengthen communities and reduce the risk of falling through the cracks and into the hands of the justice and healthcare systems where the costs to taxpayers are highest.

I hope all three of you will vote in favour of UBI. Much turns on it -- for our families, friends, and communities.

Dear Senator Dalphond:

I am writing today to urge you to cast your vote in favour of a Third Reading for Bill S-233.

A Universal Basic Income is desperately needed in Canada. Along with measures including universal health/dental/prescription coverage, UBI will help ensure the following:

· the ability of all persons in Canada to meet their basic needs, enshrined as human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25), to which Canada is a signatory.

· reduced demands on other systems, including the medical and criminal justice systems. Income is a strong social determinant of health (Canadian Public Health Association), and income inequality is positively correlated with crime (Journal of Social Justice, 2023).

· compensation for income loss due to automation/artificial intelligence

· a more stable democratic society.

· financial independence and therefore greater protection from violence and exploitation for unwaged and under-waged caregivers; in particular, women and racialized persons, who are disproportionately represented in these roles. In addition, supporting and protecting caregivers ultimately supports and protects those they care for.

The provision of Universal Basic Income is essential to ensuring that basic human needs are met and that Canada fulfils its obligations to protect universal human rights. It also makes good economic and political sense.

Dear Senator,

I'm writing today to urge you to support Bill S-233 (An Act to develop a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income).

I write to you as a former artist, a current complementary health care provider, and a citizen living with undiagnosed mental health concerns. All of these demographic considerations would benefit greatly from a GLBI of some sort.

I write to you as a "former" artist, because I had to give up working in my chosen profession due to a lack of financial support. It is well known in artistic circles that the average working Canadian artist makes around, or below, the poverty line, and this has been the case for decades. Many artists have a "paying job" and devote volunteer or under-waged time to their craft. Artists I know actually had their income INCREASE with the CERB during covid. Imagine the boon to the arts, if artists without financially secure partners, or inherited wealth, could contribute freely to the cultural community of Canada. GLBI is good for the arts.

I write to you as a complementary health care provider who works in essentially a two-tier system, where patients/clients with medical benefits can pay living-wage costs of care, while others go without. A GLBI would provide a baseline for practitioners to lean on and open up pro-bono or sliding-scale financial accomodations for patients who can't afford the market rate for their services. It would provide patients with a cushion to afford the self-care that greatly benefits their lives. GLBI is good for healthcare.

Finally, I write to you as someone living with undiagnosed, but suspected mental health challenges including high-masking autism, depression, and anxiety. Only recently have I been able to financially access therapy, with a therapist who suspects these conditions have presented challenges to me finding and maintaining full-time employment over my entire adult life. I have always struggled with routines and social interactions at work, and always hovered at or below the poverty line. Luckily I am currently financially supported by a loving partner and am able to work part-time at paid and unpaid labour. Not everyone is so lucky, and a GLBI would support many others with similar challenges, without the need to navigate the complicated medical and administrative bureaucracies that are expensive and stressful. GLBI is good for mental health.

Please support Bill S-233.

Dear senators,

I am writing to urge you to support Bill S-233, the development of a national framework for a liveable basic income. 

I am sure you have seen the extensive research showing the efficacy of universal income strategies, in terms of economic and social benefits. I know the Senate has reviewed this information and there is not much I can add to it. 

I am writing to you as a mental health professional, and sharing from both personal and professional experience. I work with clients from all walks of life, on issues from anxiety and depression to trauma and grief.

Whether their problems are severe or relatively mild, long-rooted or recent, and no matter who they are or where they've come from, working on their mental health is much easier when they are financially secure. Without financial security, all a person can focus on is providing for themselves and their families. Anxieties about housing, job loss, health care and food security take over. It's hard to even think about anything else. 

Financial insecurity puts everything else on the back burner. It makes problems harder to address and solutions harder to access. 

When clients are financially secure, our work changes profoundly. They can heal wounds from childhood, connect more deeply to friends and family, pursue the work they value, and bring their most grounded and present selves to their communities. They can live value-driven, meaningful lives

Suicide risk also increases when people do not have economic security. I believe that a guaranteed liveable income would reduce deaths by suicide significantly.

One of the reasons I became a counselor is because of the way I saw my own mother suffer from severe mental illness. She died by suicide. When she fled an abusive partner, whom she had relied on financially, she should have been able to find housing, secure childcare, get support for recovering from abuse, get treatment for her chronic mental health concerns, and have her basic needs met. But every one of these things was an enormous struggle for her. Some were out of reach entirely. 

A guaranteed liveable basic income would have meant housing, food, childcare, and the opportunity to heal. I believe it could have saved my mother's life. 

I am proud to work as a counselor, helping people heal and grow. But every aspect of my work, from managing anxiety to reducing suicide risk, would be easier in a society where everyone had a liveable income, guaranteed. 

Please help all Canadians have a solid base from which to grow.

I am a 76-year-old physically handicapped low-income Senior, who is currently bedridden. I had to quit work at the tender age of 45 and have gone through what RRSPs I had.  For 25 years, I was a self-employed freelance Court Reporter, working mainly on the federal circuit.

Do you have any idea what it is like for some of us out here? Since Covid, with price increases across the board, I am finding it personally difficult to make ends meet. That old saying, “taking from Peter to pay Paul“ has become the bane of my existence. I am afraid I may lose my home.  My regular monthly Grocery order is impossible to afford. The cost of Oil and Hydro is outrageous. 

Please explain your position, and give this matter serious consideration. Thank you.

This is my voice on the decision regarding Bill S-223 (Universal Basic Income). All I want to do is explain to you my life and financial situation. I’m talking about myself, but I think there are plenty of people like me.

I have lived in Canada for 23 years, but I work mainly under an employment contract. Therefore,my pension (CPP) is only $120 per month. I will turn 65 in July, and from September (first payment will be August 28) I will have all senior benefits possibly up to $1,500 plus $600 monthly housing subsidy to live in subsidized senior apartment.

At the same time, I am not allowed to run a business (receive clients) in subsidized apartments. If I start working, I could get about $1,500 a month and in that case all my retirement benefits would be taken away. I feel like I’m trapped.

An unconditional universal basic income will allow me to continue working. This will allow me to leave the subsidized apartment, rent a regular apartment and continue seeing clients. I can also help many people (my customers) follow the same path, escape the trap of housing subsidies and become valuable citizens again.

My growing ability to spend can help local businesses and farmers thrive and help the overall economy. It could also save many people from the humiliating bureaucracy of income control in the current government support system. People will be willing to work harder if they see that it makes sense.

I hope this helps you better understand our situation and the value of UBI.

Dear Senator Dalphond,

Please give your vote to Bill S-233 so that a framework for a guaranteed basic livable income can be developed. I have been a social worker since the 1970s and never have I seen so many people on the streets ‘living rough’ in Canada.

Our social safety net has been shredded. The social assistance program in Ontario (Ontario Works), for example, provides less than $800 month to cover rent, food, and clothing. Yet $800 won’t even cover monthly rental costs in our current housing market.

Citizens who fall on hard times often face food insecurity and may become homeless. Without shelter or adequate food and clothing, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to find their way out of poverty. Many lose hope, experience mental health challenges, and may fall prey to substance abuse.

A guaranteed livable basic income would dramatically increase the possibility that all Canadians can be healthy, participating members in our society. Of course, affordable housing and a well functioning healthcare system are essential as well. But a livable income provides a necessary foundation.

The cost can be met through fair taxation to contribute to the common good. Most of those in need would no longer have to depend on the charity of others through band-aid solutions such as soup kitchens, food banks, and Out of the Cold programs. A guaranteed basic income would honour the human right of all people to have their basic needs met.

Your support is needed to send this bill to Third Reading.

Want to help? Email and call these senators below urging them to support S-233. Senators in bold still oppose Bill S-233 -- help convince them to change their position:

Senate Standing Committee on National Finance

Pierre Dalphond

Progressive Senators Group


Jane MacAdam

Independent Senators Group


Tony Loffreda

Independent Senators Group


Percy Mockler (Chair)



Éric Forest(Deputy Chair)

Independent Senators Group


Joan Kingston

Independent Senators Group


Rosa Galvez * (to be replaced soon by Bernadette Clement)

Independent Senators Group


Clement Gignac

Progressive Senators Group


Elizabeth Marshall



Krista Ross

Canadian Senators Group


Kim Pate

Independent Senators Group


Larry Smith

Canadian Senators Group


*Bernadette Clement (replacing Sen. Galvez)

Independent Senators Group


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