Federal Pathway Report

June 8, 2021

Honourable senators, my question is for the Government Representative in the Senate. The 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Action Plan released last week includes as one of its short-term priorities a guaranteed annual income. This is a direct income support accessible unconditionally to those with incomes below a certain level as a means of addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ folks.

These short-term priorities were selected as ones that could be implemented within the next one to three years. We are pleased the federal government is committed to implementing guaranteed annual income within the next few years, as delineated in the National Action Plan and the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Senator Gold, what steps is the government taking to prepare for implementation of this measure? Does it include discussions with provinces and territories that have already expressed an interest in pursuing such initiatives, such as P.E.I. and the Yukon Territory?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Thank you, senator, for the question. As the Government Representative in the Senate, I’m pleased to provide you the information to the extent that I can.

As you know, the National Action Plan, which was released by contributing partners from across Canada, is supported by Budget 2021 commitments of $2.2 billion over five years to implement concrete measures, which will truly keep Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people safe. Thanks to your advance notice, I was able to inquire with the government on the question of the guaranteed livable income. Unfortunately, I do not know the details on the implementation of specific measures.

I have been advised, however, that a lot of work is being done and is under way in various jurisdictions, and the government has said that it is open to listening to requests and to discussions on this matter.

In terms of the specific request, the government of P.E.I. and the Yukon have already signalled their interest in commencing these discussions. Is there a plan to proceed?

Senator Gold [ + ]

I have made inquiries, senator, but I don’t have the specific responses. I’ll report back to the chamber as soon as I get an answer.

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