Basic income all but inevitable in Canada, says researcher

Journal Pioneer

An expert on the subject of the basic income guarantee, a proposed social program that would see all adults receive a regular payment from government, will be delivering two lectures in P.E.I. this week.

Evelyn Forget, an economist at the University of Manitoba, has conducted research on basic income guarantee programs in Canada and around the world. She is also the author of a new book, “Basic Income for Canadians: The Key to a Healthier, Happier, more Secure Life for All”.

Forget will be speaking on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Linkletter Community Centre outside of Summerside and at the Duffy Amphitheatre at UPEI on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The UPEI lecture is presented by the Saint Dunstan’s University Institute of Christianity and Culture.

If implemented, a basic income guarantee program would largely replace current social assistance and disability support programs.

Advocates for basic income have faced challenges in recent months. Last July, the then-newly elected Progressive Government in Ontario announced the cancellation of a basic income guarantee pilot program that would have seen 4,000 participants receive up to $16,989 per year.

In P.E.I., after all MLAs from all parties voted in favour of a legislative motion in favour of the establishment of a basic income project on the Island, little progress has been made. The federal government has not made a commitment to fund such a project.

Still, Forget says she is optimistic.

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