Labor view: Financial security is dignity | Techno Glob


Poverty is more expensive than implementing programs to leave no one behind.

As I write this column, we are preparing for a panel our union will host. By the time this article is published, we will have already had the opportunity to hear from our speakers about what a livable basic income guarantee would be and why we need it in the North.

I’m not an expert on the subject, but like you, I see the faces of poverty every day. We don’t have to look far to see what poverty looks like: homelessness, food insecurity. And it is not difficult to imagine the consequences of poverty for individuals, families and communities.

Communities from coast to coast are affected by the rising cost of living. Nationally, the consumer price index recently hit a 40-year high of 8.1 per cent, according to Stats Canada. Many goods and services are becoming increasingly expensive. Although, this inflation and rising cost of living affects all of Canada, it is more pronounced in northern communities, where rates of poverty and food insecurity are high.

There is no solution to end this. The government should work together to implement programs that leave no one behind. Poverty is not an option, the reality is that many have no choice but to survive. Food insecurity is a major factor in poverty, but it is not the only one. Earlier this year, we launched the Ilunnata campaign which focuses on finding solutions to end food insecurity. Illunnata means “all of us” in Inuktitut, because we all deserve food security. Affected individuals and families are welcome to share their stories on the platform.

For all of us, I want to invite you to take action and send a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Mark Miller and Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, demanding an end to Northern Food. Vulnerability For more information visit www.illunnata.ca. These actions, whether big or small – minutes or months – make all the difference. All of us face or face the loss of human rights: food, water and dignity.

Financial security is essential

As individuals and organizations we should not ignore the rising cost of living. Individuals who are unemployed, in precarious jobs or earning less than a living wage cannot afford the basic necessities of life. Programs such as the Guaranteed Livable Basic Income aim to lift individuals and communities out of poverty. This is not a new idea.

In a 1967 speech, “Where Do We Go From Here?” Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta said: “A person’s dignity is when he has the decisions concerning his life in his own hands, when he is sure that his income is steady and certain, and when he knows that he has the means to seek self-improvement.”

Nothing illustrates the consequences of financial security more than this. “Why don’t they work?” We often hear this when proposing or discussing programs like basic income. Here is my answer: If you get a good paying job, we are very happy for you. However, we know that poverty is a cycle. If a person is forced to choose between putting food on the table and paying the rent every day, where and when can they invest in making themselves more employable?

I invite you to take collective action. demand changes. Email your Member of Parliament (MP) or meet with them in person. Ask their position on implementing programs like Guaranteed Livable Basic Income or other similar concepts that aim to end poverty and help lift everyone up. Ask for their support and have conversations about pressing issues, such as making life affordable.

The North wants and needs your voice.



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