The Green Party announced today its commitment to protect the security and dignity of all Islanders. “It is clear that many Islanders are not reaping the benefits of our economic growth,” said Leader Peter Bevan-Baker. “Over one third of our proposed new spending in the first year of a Green government is earmarked for social services.”
The proposed programs include an immediate increase to the housing subsidy rate, food rate, and personal allowance rate, which have not kept up with increased costs over the years. “Islanders should not be forced to choose between rent and food,” said Bevan-Baker.
The party has also committed to creating a client-centred approach for social services by conducting a ‘Red Tape Review’ of all social, family, and disability support services.
“Our current system actually creates barriers for people who are desperately trying to become self-sufficient,” said Bevan-Baker. “By denying people assistance until they are almost destitute, social services fails to help clients achieve their full potential. In many ways what began as a social safety net has become a spider’s web where the most vulnerable are trapped in chronic poverty.”
For that reason, a Green government would also provide a secure basic income for Islanders who are unable to enter the workforce due to long-term disabilities.”
“The Green Party of PEI believes that we should not treat the most vulnerable citizens as an after-thought, and we will implement innovative programs based on compassion and respect.”
Other Green Party commitments include:
- Set up a commission to develop a Basic Income Guarantee pilot
- Provide free transit passes to those using social support services
- Explore subsidizing transit passes for seniors across the province
- Phase in a universal food program for schools to provide local, healthy food for every student
- Raise the minimum wage in predictable increments to $15.00 per hour by 2023
- Support the Third Sector, those non-profits and NGOs that provide vital social services, with $2.5 million in core operational funding in year one and up $3.5 million in year two.