FREDERICTON – According to a report released last week by Maytree entitled Welfare in Canada, New Brunswick has the lowest social assistance rates of any province across all categories.
Assistance rates for an unattached single who is considered employable in New Brunswick are $670 per month, compared to $1405 per month in Prince Edward Island. Assistance rates for an unattached single with a disability in New Brunswick are $907 per month, compared to $1559 in Prince Edward Island.
“Minister Jill Green needs to make it a top priority to increase New Brunswick’s pitiful social assistance rates to bring them in line with PEI, which would double the rate for the single employable category,” said Green Party Leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon. “Keeping social assistance rates so far below the poverty line amounts to government enforced poverty that becomes generational. It’s got to stop.”
Beyond an immediate increase to social assistance, Coon says he wants the government to replace the social assistance system with a guaranteed livable income, to help New Brunswickers escape poverty and reach their full potential.
“Given our size and need, New Brunswick is the perfect province for the federal and provincial governments to institute a guaranteed livable income,” said Coon. “I’m calling on Premier Higgs to begin negotiations with Prime Minister Trudeau on implementing a guaranteed livable income in our province.”