Universal Basic Income: Westworth United Church invites you to add your support

Our kin in the Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran Churches recently sent a Bishops’ letter to the government of Canada, expressing grave concern that COVID and its social impacts will only deepen unacceptable levels of poverty and inequity throughout the country, and that a new model of guaranteed basic income is badly needed.

The national United Church is working on its own advocacy, but in the meantime, the Council of Westworth United Church in Winnipeg invites us to take inspiration from our ecumenical partners and go local: send a letter yourself, or from your faith community, adding your voice to the Bishops’. They note, “although the recent Canadian experience with the COVID-19 financial support programs such as CERB has been a positive start, gaps have remained. (We) support a Guaranteed Basic Income for all to ensure no-one is left behind.”

Guaranteed, or Universal, Basic Income is an idea that the United Church of Canada supported in policy back in 1986. At its heart, the concept advocates that governments create an income “floor”, below which an individual or family’s income cannot fall. This would replace expensive and often punitive social assistance/ welfare. It would move us out of minimum wage models in which minimum wage earners simply cannot make ends meet. In many models, Universal Basic Income would actually save money while reducing poverty and respecting dignity.

Here’s a copy of the Bishops’ letter. Please use it to inspire your own, whether personally or in your community of faith. Short and sweet is best. Please send it to your Member of Parliament and to:
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON KIA 0A2

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P.
Deputy Prime Minister
Privy Council Office
Room 1000
85 Sparks Street
Ottawa, ON KIA 0A3

The Honourable Bill Morneau, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Finance
90 Elgin Street, 17th Floor
Ottawa, ON KIA 0G5