Greens pledge to make poverty history
Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada (Saanich-Gulf Islands), and Jo-Ann Roberts, Green Party candidate (Victoria), committed to address poverty in the Capital Region and on Vancouver Island through a National Housing Strategy and Guaranteed Liveable Income.
“The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness has already proven that Housing First programs can break the cycle of poverty and get chronically homeless people into housing,” said Ms. Roberts. “Too often, these programs at the mercy of government grants or private donations. It’s time for the federal government to step up with a National Housing Strategy and create a long-term plan to end poverty. Working in the next minority parliament, Green MPs will guarantee these issues are addressed.”
“Each month, almost 850,000 Canadians, one third of whom are children and youth, turn to food banks for help,” Ms. May said. “This is unacceptable in a country as wealthy as Canada. There are many seniors, a disproportionate proportion of whom are women and Indigenous peoples, living in poverty. The Green Party’s plan for a Guaranteed Liveable Income (GLI) will make sure that no Canadian, young or old, lives in poverty.”
Ms. May also questioned Canada’s lagging overseas development assistance on the international stage.
“The Canadian International Development Agency’s mandate is poverty alleviation. Lester B. Pearson set the target for appropriate levels of aid when he advised the United Nations, and Canadian Prime Ministers including Brian Mulroney and Jean Chrétien pledged to meet the Pearson target of 0.7% of GDP to overseas development assistance (ODA). Under Stephen Harper, our ODA has dropped to its lowest level ever at 0.24%. This is even worse when one considers that within that low number are grants that distort CIDA’s purpose. In 2014, the Conservative government gave $8 million to the International Republican Institute to assist democratic institutions in Ukraine. While the project is a worthy one, there are Canadian NGOs that can do that work, without being tied to a right-wing U.S. organization.”
Green MPs will:
Establish a Guaranteed Liveable Income through our Council of Canadian Governments to ensure no person’s income falls below what is necessary for health, life and dignity;
Add Dental Care coverage for low-income youth under 18 as part of our universal medicare system;
Implement a National Housing Strategy to provide every Canadian with a place to call home;
Create a Housing First Approach to provide immediate support for chronically homeless;
Increase access to co-operative housing for First Nations living on and off-reserve;
Dedicate funding to the co-operative housing sector to enable more new affordable housing projects to proceed, while extending funding for co-ops whose contracts with the federal government are expiring;
Eliminate Stephen Harper’s Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program, which currently allows foreign investors to purchase Canadian properties and can drive housing prices up for Canadian families beyond their reach; and
- Meet the United Nations target of 0.7% of GDP to overseas development assistance.