LAMP Forum on Basic Income Guarantee

May 4, 2022

            The Latin American Mission Program (LAMP) is presenting its spring education workshop on Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 2:00 pm. It will be on Zoom. Pre-registration is required by Tuesday, May 10, 2022. To register by email: latinamericamissionprogram@gmail.com.  (Please note for the email it is america, not american)

            The topic of the interactive forum is: Basic Income Guarantee, a Viable Option for PEI, and for Canada

            Basic Income Guarantee (BIG), especially over the past decade, has been in the spotlight in PEI for many individuals, community groups, and politicians. In PEI, the community organization taking the lead on basic income is the PEI Working Group for a Livable Income (founded in 2003). On the national level, Coalition Canada basic income – revenu de base, a non-governmental organization,established in 2019, maintains a continuous advocacy with public policy makers for establishing a basic income Island-wide demonstration project in PEI.The goal is to eventually have basic income established in all Canadian provinces and territories.

            The following three presenters of the LAMP event are active members of the PEI Working Group for a Livable Income. Michelle Jay is program coordinator with the Advisory Council on the Status of Women. Dr. Pat Charlton worked for the PEI health system in various capacities before her retirement. Laurie Michael is a registered dietician with a Masters in Public Health.

            The interactive session will identify what makes PEI an ideal launching place for a Basic Income Guarantee demonstration program. The proposed BIG demonstration would be an Island-wide program, accessible to all residents who need it to cover their basic needs. It would be fully funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments. It would be refined and perfected in a span of 5-7 years with the goal of up-scaling for other jurisdictions in Canada.

            The Latin American Mission Program maintains a constant connection with the impoverished people of Latin America, especially the Dominican Republic. When there are sufficient resources, LAMP prefers to maintain this connection by having an Islander living, learning, and working there with groups organizing for social justice. Since its beginning, LAMP has sent 22 Islanders to the Caribbean and Central America for a total of more than 70 years experience. Most have come back home with a deep conviction of the need to be active in social justice, collective rights-based work in our own society. The root causes of almost 40% of PEI residents living below or around the poverty line is the same as the root causes of the impoverishment in the Global South. The same economic system, enriching the few and depriving the majority, is the driving force, more intensely felt in the South.

            The LAMP spring education session presents Basic Income Guarantee as a program which is built on the right of all human persons to have access to enough money to cover basic human needs, whether in PEI or in any other part of the world. It is a social justice approach requiring a shift in priorities for governments and a change in expectations for the community. It is costly, but proven affordable.

            The hoped-for result of this important education event is that more people will become engaged, active, and vocal promoters of a Basic Income Guarantee demonstration program in PEI.