Editor: Thanks to Gerard Mitchell for his March 3 letter on the recent convention resolution of the Liberal Party of Canada supporting a basic income guarantee, a proposal initiated by the Island delegation. Now if only we could see similar interest from the provincial Liberal government.
Last summer I suggested Prince Edward Island as the location for a basic income guarantee pilot project as recommended by the Canadian Medical Association in its July 2013 report, What Makes Us Sick. At the time Community Services Minister Valerie Docherty spoke critically of the pilot project idea. No MLA has mentioned the idea inside or outside of the Legislative Assembly over the last seven months.
At a press conference on the topic of encouraging minimum wage increases in November of last year, NDP Federal Council Representative Joe Byrne and I and called on the provincial government to initiate a pilot project on basic income guarantee. Just last month the federal Conservative action to suddenly create two EI zones on P.E.I. helped the case for a basic income guarantee. If we legally ensure the public a basic livable income then such acts of manipulation will no longer be as attractive to government ministers seeking political benefit.
On P.E.I. it is the NDP moving the issue of basic income guarantee forward. The Liberals and PCs are not doing anything on the issue. Nor is the provincial Liberal cabinet doing anything with a report on minimum wage from the Employment Standards Board that it has had now for several weeks.
P.E.I. Liberals go to Montreal and voice support for the basic income guarantee. Meanwhile in terms of real help for the low income people of P.E.I., nothing is being done.
Leader, NDP P.E.I.