One of the pillars of the federal government’s coronavirus response — the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, or CERB — is leading to calls for a permanent basic income support program in Canada.
Jessie Golem, a Hamilton, Ont., resident, is among those championing such an initiative. Golem was part of a pilot project in Ontario three years ago that provided income support to 4,000 low-income earners in several communities across the province. The pilot was only in place for a little over a year before it was abruptly cancelled by the government of Premier Doug Ford.
Golem told Global News’ The New Reality about having to work 60 to 80 hours a week prior to receiving the provincial government basic income.
“I felt very stuck and kind of trapped in this situation, where I just sort of had to keep on working in order to survive in the hopes that in the future it would get better,” she says.