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Write to your MP demanding relief from lost GIS due to CERB

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We’ve been hearing from a lot of people in distress over losing their GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) after having claimed CERB (Canadian Emergency Response Benefit) at the onset of the pandemic.

In quick response, we wrote to the federal government asking them to protect lower income seniors by basing GIS on their pre-CERB tax years.

If you’re one of the many people who have lost your GIS unexpectedly, you deserve answers.

We’ve written a letter/email you can use to write to your MP/MLA, asking them to take immediate action on your behalf. You can copy and paste the text of the letter below. A link to find your elected official is listed below the letter.


Dear (local MP/MLA name here),


As a low-income senior I rely on and have appreciated the Guaranteed Income Supplement, which has allowed me to cover the costs of basic necessities including food, rent, transit and hygiene products. I was also grateful for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which helped many Canadians including myself cope with uncertain and difficult times. I am in a terrible position, however, finding that collecting CERB was actually a costly mistake – not financially helpful but hurtful – as the added income has resulted in my GIS being cut, leaving me unable to meet the costs of my carefully planned budget. Now in much distress I wonder how I will pay for basic necessities, all because I took the helpful hand that the government extended during the pandemic. I regret collecting CERB, never expecting that I’d be worse off as a result.


I am writing to plead for urgent government intervention, to rectify this oversight which has left many low-income seniors in extremely precarious financial situations. One solution to this issue would be to calculate GIS recipients’ income based on pre-COVID tax years. 


I hope that this email conveys the desperate situation that I and many seniors have found ourselves in due to the naive acceptance of the emergency benefit, the repercussions of which were never conveyed nor anticipated. 
Please do what is right and reverse this unfair oversight. 


Respectfully,

(Your name)


Due to the federal election, parliament has been dissolved. Elections Canada will be posting candidate information soon.

In the meantime, you can search current MP/MLA information here.

Or you can find each party’s candidates on their respective websites:

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282 Wright Avenue,
Toronto, ON, M6R 1L5

Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto

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