To The Editor,

Here is a copy of a letter I am sending by email to the Honourable Francis Drouin, the MP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell constituency. I encourage others to contact him about any issues they have.  The House of Commons will be making a decision soon about UBI so letters about this issue are especially important at this time.

Dear Mr. Francis Drouin, ([email protected])

If I was more fluent in French, this letter would be in French.  Belated congratulations on your success in winning re-election.

I ask you to support the Universal Basic Income bill that is currently, as far as I know, in committee.

A Universal Basic Income would make life better for millions of Canadians, especially people leaving or trying to leave domestic abuse, post-secondary students, people with health or addiction issues, seniors on a minimum income, gig workers including entertainers and artists, and people old and young struggling to survive on low wage and part-time work.  I believe several people and organizations are presenting abundant evidence on the benefits of UBI to society as a whole as well as many of the people who receive it.

I would hope that UBI would be provided to every person age 16 or 18 and over that files a tax return.  I believe $300/week would make a sufficient difference while not encouraging people not to work.  It could replace AOS, GST rebates, and Carbon Tax rebates.  It should be seen as completely separate from Employment Insurance.  It would provide resilience for society in events such as economic collapses or epidemics without needing to hastily create programs such as CERB.

I see three barriers to UBI.  The first is a distorted protestant work ethic that resents money being paid to people just because they need it, a work ethic that ignores the reality we live in a highly connected society in which harm to a few results in harm of some sort for everyone.  The second is the resistance of wealthy people to sharing their excess wealth along with the undeniable influence they have on government decision-making.  The third is the reality that members of parliament earn more than three times as much as the average Canadian and, as such, would see a substantial increase in their federal income taxes.  This increase, depending on the actual revisions to the tax schedule, could amount to about 10% of their income.

I invite you as a person dedicated to public service, a dedication you fill well having earned the trust and support of many to most people in this constituency, will choose to make that sacrifice for the sake of the thousands of people who would benefit from UBI.

Sincerely,

Jim Kenney, East Hawkesbury