Navigate
Everyone has the basic right to food in Canada, yet 4 million Canadians, including 1.6 million Ontarians, are food insecure. Income solutions such as a basic income guarantee, jobs with livable wages and benefits, and social assistance rates that reflect true costs of living are needed so that everyone is able to buy enough food. 


Be aware


Spread the word

Others may not be aware of the problem of food insecurity. 

Inform them by:


Click to send this Open Letter to the four federal political party leaders

 

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau  justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

Hon. Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Opposition and the Conservative Party andrew.scheer@parl.gc.ca 

Yves-François Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Québécois  Yves-Francois.Blanchet@parl.gc.ca 

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the New Democratic Party Jagmeet.Singh@parl.gc.ca 

Jo-Ann Roberts, Interim Leader of the Green Party joann.roberts@greenparty.ca 


Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Mr. Scheer, M. Blanchet, Mr. Singh and Ms. Roberts,

I am writing about food insecurity, a serious problem that affects over four million Canadians. Food insecurity is inadequate or uncertain access to food due to financial constraints. Far too many Canadians cannot afford to pay the rent, bills AND put enough food on the table.

Food insecurity negatively impacts health, mental well-being, and the ability to lead productive lives. It is shameful that so many people are struggling to afford food in a country as wealthy as Canada.

I want to live in a country that makes the eradication of food insecurity and poverty a priority. In 2018, Canada released its first Poverty Reduction Strategy built on the pillars of dignity, providing opportunity and enhancing resilience and security. Specific targets for poverty reduction using the Market Basket Measure as Canada’s official poverty measure were established and food insecurity measurement is included as an indicator to track progress. This is a big step in the right direction, but more still needs to be done.

Existing programs that boost a household’s financial situation, such as the Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors and the Canada Child Benefit for families with children, have shown to be effective at reducing food insecurity – but these programs leave a big gap. A substantial number experiencing food insecurity are working-age people with no children who are ineligible for these financial supports. About 60% of food insecure households have employment as their main source of income, indicating that jobs are not paying enough. The establishment of a basic income guarantee for all Canadians has strong potential to significantly reduce food insecurity and poverty rates across the country. As perhaps the most highly sensitive measure of material deprivation, specific targets for the reduction of food insecurity should also be established for Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Based on 2007 data, poverty was estimated to cost Canada up to 30.5 billion dollars in public costs, including crime and healthcare, and up to 55.6 billion dollars in private costs, including lost productivity. In total, poverty in Canada was estimated to cost about 86 billion dollars.

In 2018, the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated that a basic income for all Canadians, based on the Ontario Basic Income model, would cost approximately 76 billion dollars. However, when immediate cost savings are removed, such as social assistance costs and GST rebates, the net cost would be 44 billion dollars. This net cost is much less than the cost of poverty in Canada. A basic income guarantee for all would also align well with the pillars of Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy as it would help to foster dignity, opportunity and security for all recipients.

I ask that Canada’s 43rd parliament take swift action to develop and enact legislation for a basic income guarantee as an effective response to the problem of household food insecurity and to ease the burden of poverty in Canada.

Sincerely,

Please enter your first name.
Please enter your last name.
Please enter your email address.
Your postal code
Please choose whether you are an individual or an organization to load our suggested template

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Mr. Scheer, M. Blanchet, Mr. Singh and Ms. Roberts,

I am writing about food insecurity, a serious problem that affects over four million Canadians. Food insecurity is inadequate or uncertain access to food due to financial constraints. Far too many Canadians cannot afford to pay the rent, bills AND put enough food on the table.

Food insecurity negatively impacts health, mental well-being, and the ability to lead productive lives. It is shameful that so many people are struggling to afford food in a country as wealthy as Canada.

I want to live in a country that makes the eradication of food insecurity and poverty a priority. In 2018, Canada released its first Poverty Reduction Strategy built on the pillars of dignity, providing opportunity and enhancing resilience and security. Specific targets for poverty reduction using the Market Basket Measure as Canada’s official poverty measure were established and food insecurity measurement is included as an indicator to track progress. This is a big step in the right direction, but more still needs to be done.

Existing programs that boost a household’s financial situation, such as the Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors and the Canada Child Benefit for families with children, have shown to be effective at reducing food insecurity – but these programs leave a big gap. A substantial number experiencing food insecurity are working-age people with no children who are ineligible for these financial supports. About 60% of food insecure households have employment as their main source of income, indicating that jobs are not paying enough. The establishment of a basic income guarantee for all Canadians has strong potential to significantly reduce food insecurity and poverty rates across the country. As perhaps the most highly sensitive measure of material deprivation, specific targets for the reduction of food insecurity should also be established for Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Based on 2007 data, poverty was estimated to cost Canada up to 30.5 billion dollars in public costs, including crime and healthcare, and up to 55.6 billion dollars in private costs, including lost productivity. In total, poverty in Canada was estimated to cost about 86 billion dollars.

In 2018, the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated that a basic income for all Canadians, based on the Ontario Basic Income model, would cost approximately 76 billion dollars. However, when immediate cost savings are removed, such as social assistance costs and GST rebates, the net cost would be 44 billion dollars. This net cost is much less than the cost of poverty in Canada. A basic income guarantee for all would also align well with the pillars of Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy as it would help to foster dignity, opportunity and security for all recipients.

I ask that Canada’s 43rd parliament take swift action to develop and enact legislation for a basic income guarantee as an effective response to the problem of household food insecurity and to ease the burden of poverty in Canada.

Sincerely,

Dear Ms. May, Mr, Scheer, Mr. Singh, Mr. Trudeau

Food insecurity is inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints. Food insecurity is a serious problem that affects all of Canada; in Ontario, 1 in 8 or about 12% of households experience food insecurity. Nowhere in Canada does the provincial or territorial household rate of food insecurity fall below 10% and the proportion is an alarming 47% in Nunavut. Far too many Canadians cannot afford to pay the rent, bills AND put enough food on the table.

Food insecurity negatively impacts health, mental well-being, and the ability to lead productive lives. It is shameful that so many people are living in poverty and struggling to put food on the table in a country as wealthy as Canada.

I want to live in a country that makes the eradication of food insecurity and poverty a priority. In 2018, the federal government released Canada’s first Poverty Reduction Strategy that is built on the pillars of dignity, providing opportunity and enhancing resilience and security. Specific targets for poverty reduction using the Market Basket Measure as Canada’s official poverty measure were established and food insecurity measurement is included as an indicator to track progress. This is a big step in the right direction, but more still needs to be done.

Existing programs that boost a household’s financial situation, such as the Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors and the Canada Child Benefit for families with children, have shown to be effective at reducing food insecurity – but these programs leave a big gap. A substantial number experiencing food insecurity are working-age people with no children who are ineligible for these financial supports. About 60% of food insecure households have employment as their main source of income, indicating that jobs are not paying enough. The establishment of a basic income guarantee for all Canadians has strong potential to significantly reduce food insecurity and poverty rates across the country. As perhaps the most highly sensitive measure of material deprivation, specific targets for the reduction of food insecurity should also be established for Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Based on 2007 data, poverty was estimated to cost Canada up to 30.5 billion dollars in public costs, including crime and healthcare, and up to 55.6 billion dollars in private costs, including lost productivity. In total, poverty in Canada was estimated to cost about 86 billion dollars.

 

In 2018, the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated that a basic income for all Canadians, based on the Ontario Basic Income model, would cost approximately 76 billion dollars. However, when immediate cost savings are removed, such as social assistance costs and GST rebates, the net cost would be 44 billion dollars. This net cost is much less than the cost of poverty in Canada. A basic income guarantee for all would also align well with the pillars of Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy as it would help to foster dignity, opportunity and security for all recipients.

If elected, I ask that your party take swift action to develop and enact legislation for a basic income guarantee as an effective response to the problem of household food insecurity and to ease the burden of poverty in Canada.

Sincerely,