People are suffering financially right now

Dear Fellow Greens,

I have been out doorknocking and doing a listening campaign in Saskatoon Riversdale over the last year. The same 3 issues kept coming up over and over: affordability, problems with our healthcare system and climate instability. People are suffering financially right now because the cost of everything has gone up, and finding housing is harder than ever because its cost, too, has risen at an unprecedented rate. 

Saskatchewan people are struggling to find a family doctor. My own mother experienced two strokes this year and is struggling to pay for her portion of all the medications she now needs. Speaking often with youth, I see the climate anxiety they are living with. And for those living on the streets near 20th Street in Saskatoon, an arctic front in winter or a heat wave in summer can literally mean the difference between life and death.

We need new solutions to decades-long problems that the old line parties have simply failed to solve – and indeed, in some cases, have caused. Saskatchewan Greens have a plan to build the Saskatchewan you want and dream of. We will tackle the climate crisis with a genuine scientific approach, face our troubling economic issues with barebones realism and put our shoulders to the wheel to revitalize our healthcare system. 

Read more here at the Green Plan 

Of All Saskatchewan’s social problems, child poverty may be the most shameful. Our province's child poverty remains among the worst in the country. One in five Saskatchewan children live in poverty, according to the latest report card from the First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society. In Saskatchewan we have 55,000 children living below the poverty line; our provincial income security programs are among the lowest in the country. The benefits are low. Social services rates are extremely low. The child poverty rates are especially high among Indigenous Peoples, single-parent households headed by women, and new Canadians. 

We can eliminate child poverty in this province. We must start by recommitting to a vision of Saskatchewan as a just society built around a progressive, fair and compassionate social safety network. Unlike the oldline parties, the Saskatchewan Greens believe reducing child poverty is not just about expanding the middle class; we must undertake real structural change to tackle the root causes of poverty. 

Poverty is a systemic problem that arises from low wages and insufficient income assistance, a precarious job market, a shortage of affordable housing and minimal quality child care opportunities – as well as totally unwarranted cuts in social programs. It is also tied directly to issues of bias and discrimination on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation and citizenship. Poverty particularly stems from the ongoing, disruptive legacy of colonization. Eliminating poverty requires systemic action on all these fronts, with safe secure housing as a fundamental human right at its core. 

Please also sign our Housing First petition here: 

Greens believe reducing child poverty starts with a stronger commitment to guaranteeing that all families have the ability to provide for their children. Research has demonstrated that programs providing a universal basic income reduce expenditure on health care (since poverty is the single largest determinant of ill health) as well as reduce expenditure on the justice system, and increase school retention. Such programs are affordable, but the savings and costs of implementation are experienced via different orders of government, so proceeding will require cooperation with municipalities and the federal government and across all party lines in this province.

The Saskatchewan Greens have a plan to end poverty in Saskatchewan. This includes establishing a universal Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) program to replace the current array of income supports, such as disability payments, social assistance and income supplements for seniors.  We would immediately increase existing social income programs by approximately double to give people the ability to thrive while a Guaranteed Liveable Income is put in place. Read more on our website:   

Please sign our End Poverty petition here: 

“I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective − the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.” – Martin Luther King Jr.: “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” 1967

The most recent Canadian Income Survey reveals that 9.5 percent of Canada’s population − about 3.4 million people – lives below the poverty line. Poverty rates are even higher within marginalized and vulnerable groups, such as people living with disabilities, single mothers and seniors. In a wealthy province like Saskatchewan and a country like Canada? This is unacceptable.

The Saskatchewan Greens are committed to ending homelessness and poverty in our province. We can achieve this United Nations Sustainable Development Goal. Real leadership is looking after people in times of crisis, especially the most vulnerable in society. We can choose as a society to ensure that no one is homeless and that everyone receives enough income to live with dignity. 

Now is the time for a Guaranteed Liveable Income. Our eyes are on the prize. How about you?


Naomi Hunter, Leader
Saskatchewan Green Party

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