WHEREAS one in eleven Canadians lives in poverty (as measured by LICO), despite the array of income security and social assistance programs provided by federal and provincial governments;
WHEREAS income security programs such as the National Child Benefit and the Guaranteed Income Supplement provide an income-tested base benefit to low income children and seniors, but not working age adults;
WHEREAS there are perverse disincentives to exiting from social assistance systems, often referred to as the “welfare wall”;
WHEREAS the idea of a basic income supplement for working age adults was recently endorsed by the Canadian Medical Association as a means of improving the health of low income Canadians;
WHEREAS there was an encouraging pilot project of a basic income supplement for working age adults conducted jointly by the Government of Manitoba and the Government of Canada in Dauphin, Manitoba in the 1970s;
WHEREAS the Senate of Canada, in its 2008 report on poverty, “In from the Margins,” called for a study on the costs and benefits of a basic income supplement;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada advocate for a federal pilot of a basic income supplement in at least one Canadian town or city, in cooperation with the appropriate provincial and municipal government(s).
National Women’s Liberal Commission