In Quebec, approximately 365,000 people depend on last-resort financial assistance (social assistance and social solidarity). With the current health crisis, these people have (and will have) even more difficulties in meeting their basic needs.
A person living alone and found to be without employment constraints is left with a monthly benefit of $ 690. After paying the rent, the electricity and the telephone, there is almost nothing left.
By the middle of the month, most people on social assistance without children are out of money. As for families on social assistance, they are impatiently awaiting family allowances.
To make matters worse, many community organizations are closing their doors or cutting back on their activities due to a lack of money, volunteers and employees. These organizations help people on social assistance in many ways, including food aid. Their services are more than essential.
COVID-19 reveals the social inequalities that exist in Quebec. If we must learn lessons from this crisis, it is because we have to distribute wealth better, tighten the cracks of our social net and, more generally, fight poverty.
In the short term, the governments of Quebec and Canada must be concerned about the fate of people on social assistance, especially those who live alone or who form a couple without children. It is time to provide them with additional financial support so that they too can get all the food they need to survive in times of crisis.