Guaranteed Livable Income
At our staff meeting today, which happens to be the day before the Canadian government delivers its throne speech, we lit candles and said a prayer in support of the idea of a guaranteed livable annual income (or guaranteed basic income).
A guaranteed livable income is something that the United Church of Canada has been advocating for some time, and with the current pandemic the need is even more apparent. As former UCC Moderator and former Canadian Senator Lois Wilson says, “Covid 19 has revealed for all of us the cracks in our economic situation in Canada. Many people cannot pay their rent and can scarcely afford food. Now is the time to make a systemic change in the system, that will remove the stigma of being poor, and encourage a more equitable society.”
Clergy and laypeople across Canada are lighting candles and praying outside of Parliament or their local MP offices today in the hopes that the government will seize this opportunity to implement a guaranteed basic income program to address the inequities that exist within our present wage and social benefit structures.
God of all peoples,
Creator of a grand cosmos and tiny infants
Source of nurture and creation,
You call us into relationship with each other.
We stand in our own judgement
when we turn away from those who suffer.
In the midst of affluence and pandemic
we hear the cries of those who struggle to survive.
Open our ears to those voices,
and our hearts to your persuasive Spirit.
May we see the needs of our neighbours
and advocate for the fair distribution of resources.
May we learn the politics of justice and adequacy
that we may act with justice,
love kindness and walk with humility.
Today we remember all who struggle to survive.
We specifically hold in our hearts
low income racialized communities
who have experienced the most challenges with Covid.
We pray for our political leaders
that they act with compassion
as they are asked to give leadership
to implement a guaranteed livable income.
Remind us, Holy Wisdom, that through your love,
we encounter in each person,
friend or stranger,
Christ’s light and love in the world.
Grant that we may promote the justice and acceptance
that enables peace, a true shalom.
Help us to remember that we are one world and one family.