Liberal MPs, grassroots to push for universal basic income at party convention

CTV News

The idea of creating a universal basic income is being pushed by Liberal MPs and grassroots party members, young and old, from east to west -- despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apparent lack of enthusiasm.

It is among the top priority issues chosen for debate at the governing party's April 9-10 convention following an online policy process in which the party says more than 6,000 registered Liberals took part.

When Liberal MPs first proposed a universal basic income last fall as their foremost policy priority for the convention, Trudeau didn't slam the door.

But he did indicate a costly overhaul of the country's social safety net wasn't at the top his to-do list in the middle of a pandemic that had already sent the federal deficit soaring into the stratosphere.

"Obviously COVID has exposed weaknesses in our country where vulnerable people are continuing to slip through the cracks," he said at the time.

"We will have conversations about next steps as well but our focus is very much on what we need to do to control COVID-19."

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