Hugh Segal sees no contradiction in being a conservative who’s long advocated a way to deal with poverty that some call a radical form of wealth distribution.
And as tech disrupts and the gig economy makes jobs more precarious, his idea has been talked up by noted people of many ideological stripes. Barack Obama, Milton Friedman, Elon Musk, cabinet secretaries for Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton, take your pick. All have endorsed, to some degree, a guaranteed basic income.
Segal can take satisfaction in not only advocating the policy early, but helping to craft a real-life pilot project in Ontario (shut down by the incoming Doug Ford government).
Now, after an election that signalled growing division in Canada, Segal suggests a guaranteed income could help build bridges.
“There are disagreements and there are strong differences in points of view, but the way you build national unity is by having national projects with which everybody can identify,” he told The Tyee. “Let’s be clear: 75 per cent of Canadians think a basic income would be a good step forward. And, there is an expert committee looking at a basic income in British Columbia.”
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