FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Charlottetown, PE (February 25, 2014) – Mike Redmond, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Prince Edward Island, is describing federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea’s recent announcement of two EI zones as an act of political manipulation that provides another good reason to establish a basic income guarantee for all Canadians.
“Usually we think of the positive benefits of a healthier, happier and more economically productive population when we consider the arguments in favour of a basic income guarantee. Gail Shea has just given us another good reason. Guaranteeing everybody a livable income would weaken the ability of politicians to manipulate people by such actions,” stated Redmond.
Redmond has been advocating that Prince Edward Island serve as the pilot project location for the basic income guarantee as recommend by a July 2013 Canadian Medical Association report- What Makes Us Sick. Community Services Minister Valerie Docherty suggested the idea might only set people up to fail. Opposition leader Stephen Myers did not support the concept either.
“It is not helpful that the Liberals and Conservatives refused to make progress on the income guarantee when they had a chance to do so in the Legislature last fall. They should have been passing resolutions to work with the Canadian Medical Association on the pilot project idea,” added the NDP Leader.
The Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island has expressed concerns about the negative impact of the new two EI zone system on seasonal workers. “The only way to stabilize the workforce in our seasonal economy is a basic income guarantee. It is a measure just as important to business people as it is to workers. An NDP led government would advance the basic income guarantee locally and nationally. Once it is established no government minister could ever divide and manipulate people as severely as Gail Shea has just done,” concluded Redmond.
Leader, NDP PEI