City council is calling for the implementation of a national guaranteed livable basic income to help “eradicate poverty and homelessness, and ensure everyone in Canada has sufficient income to meet their basic needs.”
The motion, put forward by Coun. Carly Klassen, was approved 10-3 on Tuesday evening.
"This would bring more to people who are struggling with our current social assistance programs," said Klassen. "When you provide money to people living in poverty, they spend it in their communities – they pay rent, they buy food, they cloth themselves and they provide for their children."
Mayor Cam Guthrie was joined in opposition by councillors Dan Gibson and Michele Richardson.
Richardson unsuccessfully proposed an amendment to encourage the provincial and federal governments to explore the idea, rather than urge implementation. Gibson expressed concern about the creation of two class of people – those who work and those who don't.
Guthrie didn't explain his opposition during the meeting.
Council’s motion comes as the senate studies the concept – Bill S-233 was introduced in the House of Commons in 2021 – in response to its recommendation by the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Once the senate’s review is complete, senators will have an opportunity to vote on the bill and potentially send it back to the House of Commons for consideration of becoming law.