I receive many emails from local voters who ask me about specific issues that are important to them. Often, there is a pattern because a non-profit or advocacy organization has provided a well-drafted format and many concerned citizens follow the format and send me an email. This is the first in a series of blogs. I try to send a reply to each person but, in case things get busy, I am blogging my response.
The Green Party of Canada has a bold and innovative plan to re-imagine the future of Canadians. The Plan has ten main areas of focus. I have copied four headings from the standardized email (in bold) and included my comments.
The emails usually ask about reform to EI Sickness Benefits and to the Canada Disability Benefit. There have been recommendations in Canada since the March Report in the 1940’s and the Macdonald Commission in the 1960’s to avoid Canadians falling through the gaps of our social safety net. The solution is to ensure a livable income or Guaranteed Livable Income, as it is now called.
The Green Party of Canada supports moving to a Guaranteed Living Income. Practical recommendations are at the GPC web-site at: https://www.greenparty.ca/en/reimagining-our-future/renegotiate-our-social-contract. In addition, as part of the GPC’s focus on Re-Imagining a Safer, Fairer World, we have a strategy for a different kind of economic policy, specifically one which guarantees a good job for anyone who can work. Rather than an economic system which always seeks unlimited growth, our goal is to maximize human (and environmental) health and well-being). Check this out on the same web-page.
I was a self-employment advisor for Lutherwood in a program for entrepreneurship for persons with disability. Through this experience, I am well aware of the disincentives to employment or self-employment by the current system which seems less about offering opportunities than preserving an unjust system built on stigma and barriers.
Make ends meet
The Guaranteed Living Income would more equitably and efficiently allow for support for episodic disability.
Make access a reality
At the GPC web-site we Re-imagine Our Future. One of the ten areas reminds Canadians that “we are all in this together” with emphasis on taking care of each other. An essential way to take care of each other is through a National Pharmacare system. The Green Party sees enormous financial benefits in bulk buying through such a national system thereby lowering the over-all cost of health care while improving accessibility to important treatment. Check this out at: https://www.greenparty.ca/en/reimagining-our-future/remember-we-are-all-in-this-together
The Green Party also advocates for National Standards and quality for long-term care with national guidelines for staffing and high quality of care and for more options for housing. This is outlined at the remember-we-are-all-in-this-together link, noted above.
In addition, the Green Party has strategies for safe and affordable housing, with more funding for co-op, supportive and community-developed local housing. This is part of our focus on Local and on Resilience.
Make MS research a priority
One of the basic priorities for the Green Party is Evidence-Based Decision Making and the development of evidence-based policy making and increased socio-demographic data collection. Greens advocate for government funded research to be available to all Canadians. This is outlined at: https://www.greenparty.ca/en/reimagining-our-future/require-evidence-based-decision-making
I believe an over-riding aspect of the emails like this one is the desire for consultation with respect to policy reform. The Green Party is committed to grass roots democracy with our platform based on input from members and based on science, research and the lived experience of Canadians. As an elected member of Parliament, I would consult with the community of self-advocates living with MS.
I hope this blog helps voters who are concerned about MS.