MONTREAL – Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North, spoke yesterday at the 15th International Basic Income Earth Network Congress at McGill University about the need to provide Canadians with a basic income while shifting to sustainable energy sources.
“Two of the most pressing problems facing Canada are the large and growing income gap and increasing climate disruption thanks to climbing fossil fuel emissions,” Hyer said.
“We know that more and more Canadians are struggling to make ends meet, and that the entire Canadian economy suffers when the gap between rich and poor is too large. We also know that disruption caused by a changing climate has real, devastating economic impacts.”
“Carbon Fee and Dividend, as proposed by the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) is a solution to both of these problems. It puts a significant price on fossil fuels that produce CO2 at the ground source or border, and provides an incentive to move toward sustainable energy alternatives. It is revenue neutral and costs virtually nothing to administer. It’s a smart way to shift our energy consumption to sustainable sources,” Hyer said.
According to Hyer, the benefits are not only related to the environment, but are economic. “The most important feature of Carbon Fee and Dividend is that every cent will go straight back into the pockets of taxpayers. The government would not get one dime of the revenue generated by a fee on carbon emissions. This system would pay dividends to Canadians and take a big step towards reducing poverty and providing a basic income for Canadians”.
“I’ve spoken about the need for a guaranteed annual income for decades,” stated Hyer. “We can find better ways to ensure families and especially children have the means to live a healthy life. Carbon Fee and Dividend is a major part of the solution.”
The theme of this year’s Basic Income Earth Network Congress in Montreal is “Re-democratizing the Economy.” The Conference runs until June 29.