November 8, 2018
An Act to Combat Poverty and Fight for Albertans with Disabilities was introduced today in the legislature. Bill 26 calls for a one-time increase to rates for the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped, Income Support and the Alberta Seniors Benefit, as well as the automatic indexing of these rates to inflation going forward.
“Tying rates to inflation is a long-hoped-for need identified by those living on social assistance and represents a huge step forward in ensuring those receiving support do not continue to fall further behind.” said Michael Phair, Co-Chair EndPovertyEdmonton Stewardship Round Table “I was happy to be able to voice EPE’s support for this bill, invigorated to hear from those for whom it will make a difference, and heartened to see the commitment from the Alberta Government to increasing opportunities for all Albertans to have the support they need to fully participate in our communities.” Phair said of EPE’s participation in the announcement event.
“Tying social assistance rates to inflation is a much needed step in working towards bringing all Albertans out of poverty,” said Susan Morrissey, Executive Director Edmonton Social Planning Council. “Enshrining it in legislation means a greater likelihood that Albertans receiving social assistance will be able to manage future increases in their rents, utilities and grocery bills.”
“Raising the AISH benefit and indexing it to the cost of living are long overdue and represent an excellent, major step in ensuring that the most vulnerable Albertans are able to live a decent life. This positive change means more than more money in one's pocket. It is also about treating vulnerable people with respect.” says Mark Holmgren, Executive Director Edmonton Community Development Company. “We encourage the Government of Alberta to continue it's efforts to address poverty across the province.”
“The work to end poverty is complex and requires all of us. We’re happy to see all levels of Government addressing this issue.” said Martin Garber-Conrad, Executive Director Edmonton Community Foundation.
EndPovertyEdmonton and partners across the province have been advocating for the Government of Alberta to #RaisetheRatesAB for social assistance programs for some time. If passed, Bill 26 will come into effect for January 1, 2019.