By Sharon Murphy for The Chronicle-Herald
A while ago I attended an international conference on basic guaranteed income. I came away thinking, like Dr. Jim Mulvale with the social work department at the University of Regina, that our patchwork quilt of traditional income support programs is not working.
I came away more convinced than ever our system is broken and we need a change.
We need an investment model as opposed to a charity model of income support.
We need a basic livable income that will allow all Canadians to live with dignity and to realize their potential.
One speaker talked about charting a new path of growth and systemic change, based on proposals that have been developed and implemented by participatory and democratic methods, avoiding the danger of proposals rooted in volunteerism and the expression of good intentions.
This was music to my ears. It validated what I have been thinking and saying for years.
We need to get away from the charity model and turn to an investment model of income support.
I sometimes feel charities, though very well intentioned, enable governments, especially the federal government, to off-load their responsibility for poverty on each other, thus creating a higher reliance on charity.
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