‘Ability to work improves’: Durham community leaders discuss possibilities of basic income model

Global News

Durham community leaders are encouraging governments at all levels to consider basic income for people across Canada.

It comes as individuals and families continue their struggle to make ends meet amid the ongoing pandemic.

As the executive director of Feed the Need Durham, Ben Earl has seen first-hand how the pandemic has highlighted growing poverty and financial instability in the region.

“The long time attrition of middle-class incomes, the changing labour market and increasing market precarity, growing poverty and inequality — those problems have all been around for a long time,” Earl said.

“The pandemic just made it very clear and showed those gaps very clearly to many more Canadians.”

Earl, who is also the general manager of the Basic Income Canada Network, says while food bank use in Durham increased when the virus first emerged, it dropped when the government came out with the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.

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