Vigils and events being held March 24–26

Published On: March 20, 2023

“When the pandemic first happened, we often heard the phrase ‘we are all in the same boat.’ In fact, we are not all in the same boat. Inequities that existed long before COVID have been exacerbated since the onset of the pandemic. Now is the time to implement a structure of justice making and justice keeping that no longer excuses, rationalizes, and tolerates poverty.”
—Moderator Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne

On March 24–26, The United Church of Canada invites participation from across the country in Lenten actions calling for a guaranteed livable income (GLI) to be established by the federal government in collaboration with the municipalities, provinces, territories, and Indigenous leadership.

A series of vigils and events are being held across the country from Vancouver, BC, to St. John’s, NL. They reflect the growing ecumenical nature of our efforts and recent attention to build support at the municipal level. Recently, United Church members, along with basic income allies, have successfully convinced municipalities—including St. John’s, Fredericton, and Pictou County—to pass resolutions in support of a GLI.

Since 1972, The United Church of Canada has advocated a policy of guaranteed annual income. Such a program would address the inequities that exist within the present wage and social benefit structures in our country. It should be universally accessible, preserve human dignity rather than creating stigma, remove discriminatory barriers, and not penalize people for the work they do. It should be available with a minimum of bureaucracy and exist alongside other social supports, including health care, pharmacare, pension, and education supports.

Particular attention should address the barriers experienced by Indigenous peoples in accessing relief programs related to COVID-19, recognizing that these are manifestations of a colonial system that leaves Indigenous people out of decision-making and denies their rightful place in Canada’s economy.

Current income supports are not sufficient. Even the temporary CERB supports put in place in the first two years of the pandemic were only set at 80 percent of the minimum individual need for survival at the time. And those supports were in many cases at least double our current provincial income supports for the poorest in society.

Supporters are encouraged to attend or hold events and contact their elected officials at all levels of government. More information, including an e-mail template, can be found on the Create a Guaranteed Livable Income webpage. Vigils and actions will be tagged #UCCanlivableincome. To add your event to this list or to get more details in order to attend, contact .

Details for Some of the Vigils/Events

  • Vancouver: Vancouver City Hall, Friday, March 24, at 8:45 a.m.
  • North Vancouver: Federal Minister Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson’s office, Friday, March 24, at 11 a.m.
  • Thunder Bay: Federal Minister Hon. Patty Hajdu’s office, Friday, March 24, at noon
  • Grimsby: Town of Grimsby Offices, Friday, March 24, at noon
  • Sudbury: St. Andrew’s United Church, Sunday, March 26, at 2:30 p.m.
  • Toronto: Councillor Alejandra Bravo’s constituency office, 1240 Bloor St. West, Friday, March 24, at 9:30 a.m.
  • St. John’s: St. James United Church, Saturday, March 25, at 2:30 p.m., multi-faith event

Media Contact

Lori-Ann Livingston
Press and Public Relations Lead
416-231-5931 x2051
1-800-268-3781 x2051

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