Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI)
Our collective experiences a Canadians during COVID-19 have shown poverty can happen very quickly to anyone.
A basic income ensures that everyone can meet basic needs and live with dignity regardless of work status. It is unconditional income from government sent directly to individuals, providing: financial security, freedom to decide how best to spend you own time and money, a foundation for health, wellbeing and a better life.
Since 1972, the United Church of Canada has advocated a policy of GLI. The concept of GLI has grown as folks from other denominations and faiths, as well as Senators, MP’s, MPP’s/MLA’s, and social justice advocates have joined in the efforts to advance this cause.
Long Term Care (LTC)
Long Term Care in Ontario has been struggling for decades, but COVID19 dramatically brought its reality into the public eye.
Today in Ontario, there are 626 LTC homes. Of these, only 16% are publicly owned, 57% are private for-profit, and 27% are private not-for-profit. However, all are regulated by provincial government, and repeated studies have shown that staff are tired, underpaid, unregulated, non-professional, and are hired part-time. As a result, senior care in Ontario is neglected. To understand the dilemma better, please check out https://health debate.ca/the crisis of privatization.
The government’s response to recent reports and recommendations lack details in how to implement and simply promise results in the future. “When there is no concrete goal and budget, it’s easy for government to weasel its way out of acting” …. (The Globe and Mail-“Thousands of Deaths” by Andre Picard, May 4, 2021)
By pressuring government to act now instead of later, will save lives!
Annual carbon emissions in Canada, have dropped only 1% since 2005.
Recently, the Government of Canada announced a new climate emissions reduction target and plan for 2030. It is an ambitious plan that needs our involvement to succeed. Increases in carbon emissions result directly from many of the systems that shape our communities. In the past, these systems have locked us into ecologically unsustainable and social inequitable patterns.
The pandemic has taught us two important lessons:
If life is threatened then it is possible to create the antidote quickly.
We cannot return to business as usual.
By reimagining these systems—collectively tweaking our values, norms and behaviours—we can create systemic change that’s inclusive, just, and in harmony with nature.
Grassy Narrows is in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.
For thousands of years, the Indigenous people of Grassy Narrows—an Anishnaabe community in Northwestern Ontario that has cared for the lands and lakes that pockmark the landscape. “They depend on the land as a basis of their culture and as a continued vital source of foods and plant medicines. But this relationship has been repeatedly threatened and undermined as a result of government decisions made without their consent, or even adequate consultation.”—Amnesty International.
Treaty rights continue to be ignored. The flooding of their lands, the dumping of mercury into their waters, and the large scale logging of their traditional hunting and trapping territories contribute to the physical and mental illness of the people to the present time. Food supplies, especially fish, are also poisoned.
Given the long history of broken promises and stalled government action, the people of Grassy Narrows deserve better.
In these challenging times, when we all need to come together, it is discouraging to hear that anti-Asian racism is on the increase. This adds to the already persistent racism against Indigenous people and people of colour. Almost daily, we hear stories of people from these communities feeling unsafe and being given undue attention by the police. Our courts and prison systems have a disproportionate number of Indigenous and Black people being incarcerated.
None of this reality is particularly new, aside from the increased harassment of Asian Canadians, so the problem is not awareness, but how to effectively work towards a more inclusive and safe society for all. By most accounts, this involves creating awareness of how the prejudice came to be, how it is tolerated, often unknowingly by the dominant group, and what concrete actions can be tried to seek better relations.
For St. Paul’s to become more anti-racist would involve an intentional process of exploring how racism happens and how we can make gains in overcoming it.