Basic Income Plus: Five demands for a better Canada

Roderick Benns

Pandemics force us to take stock of our values in society; they clarify our sense of mortality and reveal how strong or weak our social fabric is.

More sensitized to our common humanity now, we must organize our economy to care for one another better.

What has been exposed in 2020 is that our current economy does not serve the needs of the majority in our society.

The social fabric has been torn; too many people are being left behind in poverty, including right here in Kawartha Lakes.

1) Basic income. It’s time for a social policy that stops people from falling through the cracks and instead gives them a springboard into new job opportunities.

2) Affordable housing. We need relief from skyrocketing home prices and legislation to ensure policies (like basic income) do not unintentionally result in unscrupulous landlords charging higher rents. 

3) Universal pharmacare. All Canadians should have access to a common list of drugs that would carry a co-payment of $2, while other drugs would cost $5 as a co-payment. 

4) Green economy. It’s time to invest heavily to create meaningful, well-paying jobs that serve a social purpose and address our climate crisis. 

5) More public enterprises. This means encouraging all levels of government to consider owning and running, on the people’s behalf, key enterprises. This might mean a pharmaceutical lab or a green energy company. We must limit corporate ownership in important sectors like these and others.

The Advocate will help organize this push locally, provincially, and nationally as we demand action on these five issues.

 

--This article was originally published in The Lindsay Advocate.