BICN Chair says suggested reforms in B.C. fall short of what's needed

Sheila Regehr

On January 28, the B.C. panel on basic income released its 500-page report with 65 recommendations; it does not support basic income as a central pillar of its plan.

The Basic Income Canada Network is listed among organizations that the B.C. panel consulted. We shared our expertise and the experiences of people who had been in the Ontario pilot. We provided them with our own detailed analysis and modelling in Basic Income: Some Policy Options for Canada

Our principles make it clear that we have never claimed basic income to be a panacea, that it works in synergy with services and labour legislation. We stress that everyone should be able to meet basic needs and live with dignity. None of this is reflected in their report.

We do agree with the report that we do not need more pilots. And we agree that some of the 65 recommendations can be useful. But without a basic income they won’t get far.

The B.C. report documents the need for a basic income guarantee for everyone, but the recommended reforms fall short and instead reinforce programs that have failed and continue to fail. We urge the British Columbia government to join forces with Prince Edward Island, which, by all-party agreement, wants to work collaboratively with the federal government to implement a national basic income guarantee, in everyone’s best interests.

Sheila Regehr, Chair

Basic Income Canada Network