Halifax hosted a basic income conference to press for national program

Global News

Advocates of a national basic income plan are calling on the provincial and federal governments to adopt a Canadian basic income guarantee program and say the “evidence speaks” for itself.

Basic Income Nova Scotia is hosting a mini-conference Saturday at the Halifax Central Library from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will bring experts from a range of backgrounds, from health and economics to those who live in poverty, in order to make the case for a universal basic income program and show how it can be implemented in Nova Scotia.

“We have to address poverty differently,” said Basic Income Nova Scotia Chair and Dalhousie professor Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird.

Prior to April 1, the minimum wage in Nova Scotia was the lowest in Canada. Now bumped up to $11.55 an hour, it’s still only better than the $11.40 in Newfoundland and Labrador and $11.50 in New Brunswick – which advocates say is not enough to live on.

“Around 23 per cent of Nova Scotians are living in poverty and that rate can go up (in rural areas) like Yarmouth, where that number can reach as high as 40 per cent,” said Kay-Raining Bird.

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