“Je demande à tous les ministres si eux autres seraient capables de vivre avec 537$ par mois, et je voudrais bien qu’ils essaient ça” Gaetane Richard
This is a quote from a news story posted on the Radio-Canada website, accessed here. Translated “I ask all ministers if they could live on $537 and I would like them to try.” I’ve chosen to leave the quote in French because that is the language of the person speaking and the language of the story.
The basic gist of the story is a lady on social assistance, who was told that donations of food would count against her check, which maxes out at $537 a month. This is a crazy situation. It is absurd for a province to think that those who access social assistance can live on such a little. It is even more absurd for the same province to pay MLA’s such a salary that their gross monthly pay is over $7000. (my figure was obtained by taking the known MLA salary $85000 and dividing it by 12). This figure for the monthly MLA’s salary is more than is paid out for a year of social assistance. (i.e. $537 X 12 = $6444 for a year of social assistance contrasted with $7083 gross monthly salary for a MLA).
I would also ask the ministers of the government to try living on $537 per month, but would love for them to try for a year. The challenge would be nearly impossible so I don’t expect any government minister to even try for a single month. I say impossible, because I know from my own experience how tight money can be, on my gross salary of $1880 a month.
So to ask someone to live on $537 a month is even more absurd, especially if you’re deducting donations of food from it. My challenge is for those of greater means to make a bigger effort to donate to their local food bank. And to seek out people of lesser means and do something nice for them, like take them out for a meal.
Do you accept the challenge?