Health Unit supports federal basic income guarantee

Northern News

Officials from the Timiskaming Health Unit say they “strongly support a federal basic income guarantee (BIG) as an effective and long-term measure to address poverty and food insecurity, issues that severely impact our population health.

Laura Dias, Public Health Dietitian with the THU states that back in early June the Board of Health Board of Health decided to “endorse the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) call for the federal government to take swift and immediate action on the evolution of the CERB Benefit into legislation for a basic income”.

She added that while this support comes in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandmeic, the local health unit has long advocated for a basic income guarantee.

She points out that “back in 2015, our Board of Health passed a resolution supporting a potential pilot project in Ontario. We also shared our dissatisfaction when the Ontario Basic Income Pilot was cancelled in 2018, only 10 months after its start. Additionally, a basic income guarantee is our main ask in our biennial food insecurity campaign, named “No Money for Food is… Cent$less” (adapted from SMDHU).

“We believe that BIG is an effective solution to reduce poverty and one of its main consequences, food insecurity, a situation where individuals are not able to access food due to lack of money.

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