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A Message from the Social and Ecological Justice Commission

Recently, the Social and Ecological Justice Commission endorsed a private members motion which urges the Canadian Government to create a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income for all Canadians over the age of 18 years.

A letter in support and signed by our Regional Council president, David Layton-Brown, has been sent to the Prime Minister, deputy Prime Minister and leaders of the opposition parties.

It is our hope that the federal government will use the Throne Speech on Wednesday, September 23 to build on the positive experience of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and make an important policy change to ensure greater income security for all Canadians.

The United Church of Canada has a long history of advocating a policy of guaranteed annual income that is more equitable and less expensive and complicated to administer than the numerous government support programs presently available.

National and international studies and programs have shown that a universal basic income is both affordable and had beneficial effects in the areas of health, justice, education and social welfare.

The Time is Now.

As momentum builds across the country in support of a Guaranteed Livable Income we urge you to add your voice and support.

1.Write a letter to your Member of Parliament. Use the template provided or write your own letter. Please cc Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland at pm@pm.gc.ca and Chrystia.Freeland@parl.gc.ca.

2. Take time on Tuesday, September 22 to light a Vigil Candle at 12:30 p.m. Take a picture and post it to social media (use the hashtags #UCCanLivableIncome, #UCCan, #guaranteedlivableincome). (Please make your post “Public” so it can be shared.)

3. If you are able, join the Vigil being held in Toronto on Tuesday, September 22 at 12:30 p.m. outside Chrystia Freeland’s office at 344 Bloor Street West (near Spadina). Come prepared to wear a mask and observe social distancing.

4. Take a moment to say a prayer and remember those who continue to struggle with poverty, unable to pay rent and scarcely able to afford food. It is a situation made worse by the Covid 19 pandemic. “Now is the time to make a systemic change in the system that will remove the stigma of being poor and encourage a more equitable society,” says former Moderator and Senator, the Very Reverend Lois Wilson.

Together we can make a difference.

Rev. Susan Eagle
on behalf of Commission members:
Rev. Lois Brown, Tina Conlon, Donna Lang, Alana Martin, Moon-Ja Park, Rev. Eleanor Scarlett, Rev. Cameron Watt, Bri-anne Swan, staff

Helpful Links

David Layton Brown SWRC Letter of Support (PDF)
Letter template (Word download)

Take Action: Create a Universal Basic Income Program

Letter from the Moderator re: Universal Basic Income

Vigil Announcement

Prayer for the Guaranteed Livable Income Vigil
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
by Barry Rieder and Susan Eagle

God of all peoples,
Creator of a grand cosmos and tiny infants
Source of nurture and creation,
You call us into relationship with each other.

We stand in our own judgement
when we turn away from those who suffer.
In the midst of affluence and pandemic
we hear the cries of those who struggle to survive.
Open our ears to those voices,
and our hearts to your persuasive Spirit.
May we see the needs of our neighbours
and advocate for the fair distribution of resources.
May we learn the politics of justice and adequacy
that we may act with justice,
love kindness and walk with humility.

Today we remember all who struggle to survive.
We specifically hold in our hearts
low income racialized communities
who have experienced the most challenges with Covid.
We pray for our political leaders
that they act with compassion
as they are asked to give leadership
to implement a guaranteed livable income.

Remind us, Holy Wisdom, that through your love,
we encounter in each person,
friend or stranger,
Christ’s light and love in the world.

Grant that we may promote the justice and acceptance
that enables peace, a true shalom.
Help us to remember that we are one world and one family.