CANADA: Federal minister fields questions on basic income at meeting with students

Basic Income Earth Network

Thirty McGill students meet with Jean-Yves Duclos, the Federal minister of Families, Children and Social Development for Canada.

If you follow this site, you may remember a piece on my meeting with François Blais, Quebec minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, who, over 15 years ago—when he was an academic—wrote a well-regarded book on Basic Income. Minister Blais has been tasked by his boss Philippe Couillard, the Premier of Quebec, to explore options for its implementation.

On January 16, his federal counterpart, Jean-Yves Duclos, the minister of Families, Children and Social Development for Canada, sat down for an hour with some 30 McGill students to answer questions.

Unlike Blais, Duclos does not have a mandate from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to develop a plan for Basic Income. He is currently focusing on a National Housing strategy, a poverty reduction strategy and the issue of homelessness.

Although the discussion covered many topics, the common thread in Duclos’ responses was the eternal Canadian question of which is a federal and which is a provincial responsibility. I was not alone in asking some pointed questions about Basic Income. The underlying theme of his answers was also constitutional in nature [1].

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