From my kitchen window I could see the two girls were about four and six years old.
They had just hopped out of a rusting, black Suzuki Esteem, circa 2001 maybe, making a beeline for our large recycling bin.
The father was grey, unshaven and hunched as he swiftly followed them. The youngest eagerly picked up a pop can and the father slapped it out of her hand back into the bin.
I could see him pick up a green Steam Whistle can and it was clear that he was explaining to her that the beer can was the real goal.Read more
Ursula Samuels wants to know that basic income will help Hamiltonians on social assistance get ahead.
The 60-year-old mother who attended an information session at the Hamilton Central Library said she receives Ontario Works, and between juggling rent, food and other responsibilities, "it's a struggle every month to get by."
"What I want to see is that people would be better off," she added.
Karen Glass, assistant deputy minister at the Poverty Reduction Strategy Office, spoke about the province's three-year basic income pilot and fielded questions from the crowd of more than 75 people Monday night.
She explained that people on social assistance would have to forego their Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program payments to become part of the basic income study, but they would keep their health and dental benefits.Read more
SHEDIAC–It was 46 years ago when Armand Bannister and his team released their white paper on social development that urged the adoption of a basic income guarantee in New Brunswick.
As director of the task force on social development, Bannister presented it to then-Premier Richard Hatfield who had just begun his unprecedented 17-year run as premier.
But Hatfield squandered this opportunity, as history shows, and instead Manitoba took the lead on basic income with the support of then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, in its well-known Mincome experiment.
New Brunswick has never looked at it seriously again, although that might be set to change, if Bannister has anything to say about it. That’s because 46 years later, the 82-year-old advocate has never given up the fight for basic income and sees a golden opportunity with the movement growing stronger than ever, from Ontario, to Prince Edward Island, to British Columbia and Quebec.Read more
There was a thick overlay of snow on the ground the day 7-year-old Sebastian Borjas and his family landed in Canada in 2005, tired from their long journey from Honduras. The previous night’s spring snowstorm was perhaps a harbinger of the challenges that were to come.
They came for a better life, the dream of most every immigrant family to Canada. In Honduras they had grown weary of the political instability, kindled by intrusive American foreign policy, with a backdrop of gang violence.Read more
Former Prime Minister Paul Martin has spoken out in favour of a basic income guarantee, saying there is “merit” in this policy tool to help lower income Canadians.
Martin is the first former prime minister to speak out about this policy, currently being studied in Ontario through a new pilot project set up in three centres across the province.
“I think there is merit in it,” he tells the Precarious Work Chronicle.
“Studies have shown it could work well for some families who need this money to bring them up to a certain level,” Martin says.
A basic income, also known as a guaranteed annual income, is a payment to eligible individuals that ensures a minimum level of income to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of work status.Read more
Ashly Rigby, 36, had a dream of one day becoming a nurse. No one in her family had any post-secondary education and she was determined to be first, according to what she told herself in Grade 11. She didn’t expect to be pregnant during the Grade 12 school year, though, a fact that “derailed everything.”
The Vancouver, B.C. woman descended into depression and lived solely on income assistance for many years. Now, working part-time with dreams of school this fall, she hopes to reverse her fortune in the very near future.Read more
Having the power and freedom to leave unhealthy relationships is just one of the reasons a Yellowknife woman supports the idea of a basic income guarantee for all Canadians.
Christine Barker, 46, says 15 years ago she got involved with a man who couldn’t hold down a job and who she later realized had undiagnosed mental health issues. This caused a great deal of upheaval and, in tandem with other reasons, led to a downward spiral of poverty for her. It is a freefall she has not yet been able to halt.
Christine was 10 years old when her mother and father uprooted their middle class lives in Ottawa for the charm and challenge of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Her father, a civil servant, had gotten a federal government transfer. Her mother was also a civil servant and found a new government job within six months of being in the small capital city.Read more
More than one in five UK workers, over seven million people, are now in precarious employment according to this analysis of official figures by John Philpott. Since 2006, the numbers on zero-hours contracts has grown by three-quarters of a million are and over 200,000 more are working on temporary contracts. My own recent research has found that some two and a half million adults in the UK may be working for online platforms like Uber, Taskrabbit or Upwork at least once a month, with about 1.2 million people earning more than half their income from this kind of work. A growing proportion of the population is piecing together an income from multiple sources, in many cases making even the concept of a fixed occupation anomalous.Read more
Fifty years ago, MPP Cheri DiNovo’s father was involved with the Basic Income movement in Canada.
That shows the longevity of an idea that has refused to die, she says, as Ontario and other jurisdictions in Canada and around the world contemplate moving forward with some kind of minimum income guarantee.
While the NDP’s DiNovo is very supportive of the idea of a Basic Income for Ontarians, she is adamant it must bring people over the poverty line and that it be created in tandem with stronger workplace standards.Read more
By Scott Santens
Consider for a moment that from this day forward, on the first day of every month, around $1,000 is deposited into your bank account – because you are a citizen. This income is independent of every other source of income and guarantees you a monthly starting salary above the poverty line for the rest of your life.
What do you do? Possibly of more importance, what don’t you do? How does this firm foundation of economic security and positive freedom affect your present and future decisions, from the work you choose to the relationships you maintain, to the risks you take?