New Book: Basic Income for Canadians

A new book is out by Evelyn Forget called Basic Income for Canadians: From the COVID-19 Emergency to Financial Security for All.

An update to her 2018 book in the wake of the worldwide pandemic, this book is an eminently readable manifesto that will undoubtedly help move the needle from discussing basic income to its eventual adoption.

From the publisher’s site:

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of providing a basic income to everyone in Canada who needs it was already gaining broad support. Then, in response to a crisis that threatened to put millions out of work, the federal government implemented new measures which constituted Canada?s largest ever experiment with a basic income for almost everyone.

In this new and revised edition, Evelyn L. Forget offers a clear-eyed look at how these emergency measures could be transformed into a program that ensures an adequate basic income for every Canadian.

Forget details what we can learn from earlier basic income experiments in Canada and internationally. She weighs the options, investigates whether Canadians can afford a permanent basic income program and describes how it could best be implemented across the country.

This accessible book offers everything a reader needs to decide if a basic income program is the right follow-up to the short-term government response to COVID-19.

When millions of people found themselves out of work or with reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the inadequacies of Employment Insurance and provincial income assistance programs were laid bare. The federal government quickly introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in response. CERB's design was similar but not the same as the increasingly popular idea of a basic income, which would pay those who need it enough money to live, and not only during national emergencies. CERB's strengths and weaknesses offer important lessons in how to implement a basic income in Canada.

In Basic Income for Canadians: From the COVID-19 Emergency to Financial Security for All, Evelyn L. Forget analyzes the CERB along with other basic income developments in Canada and around the world. She weighs the options, investigates whether Canadians can afford a permanent basic income program and describes how it could best be implemented. This book has everything you need to know to decide whether a basic income program is the right tool to assure financial security for all.

Forget also takes the reader through chapters on how basic income affects various people, nine myths about basic income, and how we get from here to there.

The only question that remains is how quick will the adoption of basic income be? If policy makers allowed themselves a moment to escape the path dependency that has stalled Canadian public policy innovation for decades, so much more could be accomplished. This fine book is more than a nudge in that direction.

Pick it up at your favourite local book store or request it from your local library.