Poverty and income inequality must be addressed


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/04/2021 (774 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

On March 31, I had the opportunity to speak with Winnipeg Centre residents during a telephone town hall event. After a difficult year, I was so excited to gather, over the phone, with hundreds of individuals across our riding.

We began the event with a discussion about poverty and income inequality in our community, specifically my private member’s motion, M-46, for a guaranteed livable basic income. M-46 calls for a guaranteed income program that would ensure a basic income for all residents of Canada in addition to current and future investments in our social safety net.

I am pleased to report that even the Parliamentary Budget Officer, an independent and non-partisan officer of parliament, recently reported the benefits of implementing an income guarantee that could cut poverty rates in Canada in half. This is critically important for Manitoba, where we could potentially reduce poverty rates by up to 61.9 per cent. This would have a huge impact in Winnipeg Centre, the third-poorest riding in the country, and it is something that I am committed to continue advocating for.

We also discussed the inadequacies of our current health-care system, and the need to expand health-care coverage to include universal dental care, pharmacare, and mental health care. There are serious gaps in our current system, and it is time that we ensure that everyone living in Canada has access to the care they need.

In addition to a guaranteed livable basic income and expanding our health-care system, callers spoke about the need to invest in a national child-care system. As a former early childhood educator, I’ve seen how child-care work has been consistently devalued by governments.

COVID-19 has further exposed the longstanding issues faced in the child-care sector, in particular the lack of access to affordable spaces and the unacceptably low wages for child-care workers. We must invest in a national, universal, and publicly funded child-care program to ensure that quality care is accessible and affordable for all.

I cannot put into words what a privilege it is to represent Winnipeg Centre, and I am looking forward to the next time we can gather to talk about our shared vision for a better world and how we can continue working together.

A special thank you to everyone who was able to participate in the town hall, and if you were unable to attend you can still listen to the event on my YouTube channel: Leah Gazan, MP for Winnipeg Centre.

You can also call 204-984-1675 or email me anytime at

Stay safe everyone. I carry you in my heart and always in my thoughts.

Leah Gazan

Leah Gazan
Winnipeg Centre constituency report

Leah Gazan is the NDP Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre.

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