With 2020 drawing to a close, I don’t think any of us will miss it!

I have been reflecting on what we’ve learned. It is painfully obvious that our social safety net was not up to the challenges we faced this year. Before the pandemic hit, we had too many Canadians who were falling behind, and the pandemic made things much worse. We need to introduce a basic income guaranteed (BIG), something Greens have been pushing for years now. 

More people are pushing for BIG now than ever, yet our elected representatives are still not grasping that implementing BIG would save us money and allow people to get ahead and pave their way for a better future. Ontario’s basic income pilot proved that BIG works, but Ford decided to scrap that polit and choose short-term profit over sustainable economic growth.

The pandemic continues to expose how seniors in Canada are dangerously vulnerable, directly contradicting our image as a caring nation. COVID-19 left a trail of devastation in our long-term care homes. The military had to be deployed to help in some provinces and their reports were shocking. It’s time to make long-term care about just that: care, not profit. That means bringing long-term care under the Canada Health Act to ensure national standards of care for seniors. That also means demanding better wages and working conditions for staff, and putting an end to for-profit long-term care. We need a national seniors strategy, and in absence of one, every provincial government should have a provincial-wide seniors strategy.

A seniors strategy will ensure that seniors can afford to stay in their homes, have access to quality healthcare, and enjoy a high quality of life. A few things that would be included in this plan would be guaranteed living income; ensuring that seniors can live in their homes, stay with their families, and have home equity to support day-to-day living. Let’s build on the momentum we have and take this unique opportunity to think about how we can do things better

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