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Opinion

Canada should have a job guarantee program, federally funded, but locally delivered, says Vancouver letter writer

Re: “A decade of proof on how to tackle food insecurity in Canada,” by Tim Li (The Hill Times online, Dec. 28, 2021). Targeting relief to disadvantaged populations makes great sense, yet may overlook a major cause of poverty—a lack of suitable jobs for those seeking work. The solution is a job guarantee program, federally funded but locally delivered, that could include provisions for care of the sick and elderly, educational activity for young people, arts and cultural performances, and initiatives for environmental protection.Participants in job guarantee programs abroad have reported their work as liberating and more highly valued than receiving welfare support. In addition, a job guarantee program would set a de facto livable minimum wage (with benefits) that would raise the bar for low-income workers across the private sector. The many visible community benefits of a full employment and fully productive economy would underpin public support for a comprehensive guaranteed basic income/jobs proposal which would generously assist those unable to work because of age, illness or incapacity.
Larry Kazdan
Vancouver, B.C.

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