A voice against burying the idea of a basic income for Canadians

Hugh Segal

Toronto Star

A recent report of the British Columbia Expert Panel on Basic Income prepared over two years by three economists, two from B.C. and one from Alberta, has given encouragement to long standing opponents of a basic income.

In some ways, however, the very nature of their sixty-five recommendations for program changes in income security and related programs in B.C. undercuts the anti-basic income orientation of the report itself.

The analysis and recommendations of the report do appear to have the authors bumping into themselves while coming around the corner.

They are right, of course, in one central conclusion: basic income, is not affordable by any one province on its own. Important pillars of Canada’s poverty reduction program, the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors, and the Child Benefit for low-to-modest income families with children are national programs administered by Ottawa. They are successful and efficient — and did not and do not require building new administrative capacity to administer them, now, or in the future — as would be very much the result for the multi-program fix called for by the B.C. expert panel.

To read more, click here.