Basic income in Canada


Dear Asarial,

By the time you read this email, Canada’s richest CEOs have already made more money in 2023 than the average worker’s salary for the entire year. [1]

Grocery store chains and oil and gas companies are all seeing record profits — but these profits are only lining the pockets of top executives. Meanwhile, food bank use has skyrocketed, and inflation and price gouging are hurting most of us at the grocery store, the gas pump, and just about everywhere else. [2]

2023 is projected to be a hard year economically, and those running Canadian corporations are only looking out for their own best interests. [3] As the cost of living rises, we need our government to step up and protect everyday people from the worst impacts of inflation and economic downturn.

A guaranteed, livable basic income would ensure that everyone can meet their most basic needs, like putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads. If everyone reading this email sends a message to their MPs demanding a guaranteed livable income, it could make our leaders reassess their priorities for the year and put basic income on the legislative agenda — or risk losing the support of their constituents.

Will you send a message to your MP asking them to prioritize basic income as we enter 2023?

We know basic income works. A basic income trial in Manitoba had positive physical and mental health benefits — and it even improved high school graduation rates. A more recent Ontario pilot helped people buy food, pay their bills, and participate in job training. And research shows that basic income could lift millions of people out of poverty, while boosting the economy by $80 billion a year. [4-6]

The status quo is not working. The wage gap between CEOs and workers is bigger than it’s ever been, with the top 100 richest CEOs making 243 times more than average workers. [7] And it’s not just hurting individuals — poverty costs the government an estimated $72-86 billion every year in health care, incarceration, and social service costs. [8] We desperately need a new federal program to address the root causes, rather than the symptoms, of systemic poverty.

A guaranteed, livable income would lift us all up. Coupled with a strong social security net, basic income would help close the gaps by radically simplifying access to income support. If you believe that everyone should be able to meet their basic needs and live a dignified life, will you send a message to your MP in support of basic income?

With hope and determination,
Rivka and Simran, on behalf of Leadnow


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