Alberta’s guaranteed income movement planted by Calgary group

The Star

If the root of poverty is money, there’s a Calgary group pushing to alleviate that constant worry.

Guaranteed income isn’t a new concept, but thanks to a grassroots group in Calgary, the movement is picking up steam in the West.

A group calling itself Basic Income Calgary (BIC) has started a municipal and provincial campaign aimed at encouraging governments to replace what we think of as “welfare” with a more progressive model it believes would lift up Canadians in poverty.

“Ultimately, we want our provincial government to collaborate with the federal government to design and implement a guaranteed annual income,” said Yvonne Stanford, co-chair of BIC.

The group is part of a national push for guaranteed annual incomes, similar to the Basic Income Canada Network.

Locally, the group would like to see a model that allows individuals below a certain income level to access cash on a regular basis so that they can thrive in society and not just scrape by. The group is asking that social support systems remain intact and that basic income doesn’t replace existing programs.

“This is about income, not about services,” Stanford said.