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In 48 hours, 20,000 Canadians joined voices to demand their government ensure no Canadian was left vulnerable during this crisis. You asked that the measures taken would include all Canadians, without conditions, and be able to meet everyone’s unique circumstances.
Together we reached 95% of MPs (322 out of 338), spanning all political parties, provinces and territories. Our campaign has been endorsed by a number of high profile politicos and influencers, including Canadian Senator Ratna Omidvar, motivational speaker Bobby Umar (500K Twitter Followers), and US Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang.
Yesterday, the government announced a package of programs totaling over $82 billion. The plan includes several basic income-like measures:
This patchwork of cash supports have eligibility requirements—proving need, reconfirming your eligibility every 2 weeks, navigating government bureaucracy—that will cause many Canadians to fall through the cracks. Targeted measures have historically failed to help 44-97% of those they aim to reach.
It would cost less than $82 billion to provide an emergency UBI of $1,000/month for 3 months to all 24 million working age Canadians, without creating eligibility testing over new programs or change existing programs. The measures announced still leave far too many Canadians at risk of falling through the cracks or unable to navigate the many conditions these programs impose.
However, this is a step forward, and it signals that our elected representatives are listening. While we are pushing for an emergency unconditional basic income, we acknowledge that the government has put in place basic income-like measures that will undoubtedly help many Canadians.
Until this plan goes to legislation, we still have a chance to be heard. Please continue sharing this petition with others and let our leaders know that Canadians are calling for an Emergency UBI.
On March 16, 2020, UBI Works launched a petition calling for an Emergency UBI in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The petition garnered over 30,000 signatures across all 338 federal ridings, with each signer emailing their Member of Parliament to call for a UBI.
The Government of Canada responded by announcing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), a short-term basic income for Canadians who lost income due to COVID-19, in addition to a one-time GST credit of $400 per individual ($600 per couple) for low-and moderate-income Canadians, as well as a $300 boost to the Canada Child Benefit basic income.
This pandemic showed us that Canadians need a Universal Basic Income.
We are aware that these measures, while they help many Canadians, still leave many others out. From day one, the CERB left out more than 850,000 Canadians, 1/3 of the unemployed, who had no income support from either EI or the CERB. The government expanded the eligibility criteria after weeks of constant pressure from Canadians to move towards a universal basic income. This pandemic has shown us that Canadians are not resilient enough in a time of crisis. Many of us who lost work from this crisis may find ourselves not hired back, or going back to lower paying work. An estimated 15% of the over 15 million working Canadians—more than 2 million Canadians in total—will soon find themselves without work. Yet, research shows that 42% of the Canadian workforce is at high risk of being automated away—using existing technology—over the next 10-20 years. If we already had a universal basic income, no Canadian would have fallen through the cracks during this crisis. Millions of Canadians would not have needed to wait weeks, perhaps months, before getting the help they needed.
Join our mailing list and stay up-to-date on how we are working to make Universal BasicIncome a reality in Canada.