Elizabeth May calls for a “Guaranteed Livable Income” in Canada

by Obert Madondo (@Obiemad)

Green Party leader Elizabeth May is calling for a “Guaranteed Livable Income” as a strategy to eradicate poverty in Canada.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May . (Photo: Wikipedia)

In a press release commemorating October 17, the United Nations Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands said the Green Party of Canada was the only federal party advocating making poverty history through a guaranteed income for poor an low-income Canadians.

“The theme of the 2012 observance is ‘Ending the Violence of Extreme Poverty’. It serves as a reminder that poverty kills more children and adults that any war. The Green Party is the only party advocating making poverty history through a Guaranteed Livable Income,” said May.

Since last October, the Occupy movement in Canada has been raising serious concerns over social injustice and economic inequality.

The gap between Canada’s rich and the poor is growing, according to a recent sweeping analysis by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2008, the average income of the top 10 per cent of Canadians was $103,500. That’s 10 times the average of the bottom 10 per cent, whose income averaged $10,260.

A few stats from MakePovertyHistory.ca:

  • more than 3.5 million Canadian live in poverty. In fact, poverty is increasing for youth, workers, young families and immigrants and people of colour in this country. Poverty in Aboriginal groups remains appallingly high, both on and off reserve
  • one in ten children is poor
  • Canada’s child poverty rate of 15 percent is three times as high as the rates of Sweden, Norway or Finland.
  • every month, 770,000 people in Canada use food banks. Forty percent of those relying on food banks are children. These statistics point to a betrayal of Canada’s children.
“October 17th is an opportunity to hear the concerns of people living in poverty. They are on the frontline of the fight against poverty,” said Rebecca Harrison, the Green Party’s Shadow Cabinet member for Poverty Elimination. She added: “Eradicate poverty is a goal we should collectively pursue. Political leadership is key in that regard; a Green Party government would place poverty eradication at the heart of its action.”


The United Nations’ General Assembly declared October 17 the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty through resolution 47/196, adopted on December 22, 1992. The resolution obligates all member states to formulate and implement concrete strategies to eradicate poverty and destitution.

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