Kingston board of health calls for guaranteed basic income

Kingston Whig Standard
The need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has left the federal and provincial governments scrambling to make changes to keep Canadians’ financial arrangements from imploding as large parts of the economy grind to a halt.

There have been changes to unemployment insurance, evictions in Ontario are forbidden, banks are deferring mortgage payments, and a whole new array of financial support programs for individuals and businesses are being rolled out to keep everyone afloat.

But the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Board of Health is calling on the federal government to implement a less-complicated solution: a guaranteed basic income.

“I know the feds are proposing all kinds of things, but it’s not as simple as it seems,” board member Conny Glenn said at its meeting on Wednesday.

“There’s still a lot of red tape for people to get the help when they need it, and since this pandemic is going to be a marathon, we are going to see a lot of problems start to manifest as people can no longer afford to take care of themselves.”

Many of the measures being put in place to relieve financial pressure on people and businesses are just creating new problems, Glenn argued.

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