By Roderick Benns
Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site
Five mayors from New Brunswick are speaking out in favour of basic income guarantee policy — including the mayor of Fredericton, the capital city.
Bill Bishop (Rothesay - top left photo); Yvon Lapierre (Dieppe - top centre); Gerry Cormier (Miramichi - bottom left); Cyrille Simard (Edmundston - bottom centre); and Brad Woodside (Fredericton - far right), have all indicated various levels of support for the policy that is gaining more interest across Canada.
Mayors across Canada were given the opportunity to complete a national survey by Leaders and Legacies, in order to gauge municipal level support for a basic income guarantee policy.
A common definition of a basic income guarantee ensures everyone an income sufficient to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of work status. It involves a regular, reliable distribution of money from government to people to help ensure total income is sufficient to meet common, basic needs.
Lapierre of Dieppe says basic income policy is the “best way to kick-start our economy, but only if it comes with sufficient money from the abolishment of all other social income programs, such as Employment Insurance.”
A sixth New Brunswick mayor, Stephen Brunet of the City of Bathurst, somewhat agreed that a basic income guarantee – which would put more money in people’s pockets – might stimulate the local economy of his community, which would help businesses. However, he wonders about the implementation costs.
Atlantic Canada support for the policy has been strong, even in the capital regions. Recently the capital city mayors of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and St. John’s, Newfoundland have spoken out strongly in favour of basic income policy.