Economist Guy Standing says basic income 'an ethical demand for justice'

By Roderick Benns

Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site 

The combination of people in short-term and contract jobs and those in other precarious work and living situations, has grown into a massive new class of people. Named ‘the Precariat’ by renowned economist Guy Standing, he says it is the only class of people in the history of the world that wants to eliminate itself.

Speaking in Toronto earlier this year to support his latest book, Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens, Standing told an energized crowd that he estimates the Precariat class is approaching 40 percent in Canada.

Standing observes that precariousness is becoming the new normal after years of neo-liberal policies that have broken down the old order. (Neo-liberalism emphasizes privatization, deregulation, and globalization — the so-called right wing policies that promote a laissez-faire atmosphere for economic development.)

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Basic income pilot programs advocated in time for Canada's 150th birthday


By Doreen Nicoll 

Trying to support a family while holding down several part-time jobs. Accepting short-term contracts without benefits. Working full time but earning wages so low your annual income falls below the poverty line. Trying to survive month to month on inadequate unemployment insurance or social assistance payments. This is what life is like for many Canadians. Unfortunately, the numbers of financially disadvantaged Canadians continues to grow as precarious employment becomes the new normal.

Financial insecurity is at the root of many personal and societal problems. Individuals and families are liable to experience inadequate housing, greater food insecurity, poorer health, significantly greater health-care costs, bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts arising from hopelessness. While society is challenged by increasing homelessness, hunger, health-care costs, demands on judicial and correctional services. Yet, the solution to situational and chronic poverty is quite simple — Canadians need a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI).

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Most people in poverty are already working – they just don’t earn enough: Hugh Segal

By Roderick Benns

Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site 

Most Canadians living in poverty are not sitting around, says a retired Conservative senator – they are actually working. They’re just not earning enough to adequately get by. That’s a problem for Hugh Segal, who has spent over 40 years in pursuit of a basic income guarantee policy for Canadians.

“There is no evidence that people living beneath the poverty line in Canada won’t choose to work” with a basic income guarantee. “In fact we know that about 70 percent of people who happen to live beneath poverty line are working —they just don’t earn enough.”

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Yellowknife mayor says basic income would help people persevere through obstacles

By Roderick Benns 

Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site

The mayor of Yellowknife says it’s time to set up basic income pilot projects in Canada to build on the “encouraging” Manitoba example from the 1970s. Mayor Mark Heyck – a three-year mayor of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, who faces re-election Oct. 19 – says basic income is “well worth looking into.”

“It could provide people who have low incomes rungs to help them climb out of poverty and further their own education and their own well-being — to become stronger participants in Canadian society,” he says.

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Ajax mayor says basic income best way to conquer poverty

By Roderick Benns

Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site 

A Greater Toronto Area mayor says Canada has the ability to eliminate poverty if the political will is there – and his gut tells him that a basic income guarantee is the way to do it.

Ajax Mayor Steve Parish was one of many Canadian mayors who were invited to complete a national survey by Leaders and Legacies, in order to gauge municipal level support for a basic income guarantee policy. The town – known for its 7 km of protected walking trails along Lake Ontario — is a centre of 110,000, about 25 kilometres east of Toronto.

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Basic income would lead to better self-worth, better life: Thunder Bay mayor

By Roderick Benns

Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site

Having a reliable income creates stronger self-worth and leads to a better life, says Mayor Keith Hobbs of Thunder Bay.

That’s why the mayor supports a basic income guarantee policy, to help stem the tide of poverty, addiction, and homelessness that is afflicting too many Thunder Bay residents.

Hobbs was one of many Canadian mayors who were invited to complete a national survey by Leaders and Legacies, in order to gauge municipal level support for a basic income guarantee policy.

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Quebec mayor says basic income would help young adults finish their education

By Roderick Benns 

Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site

The mayor of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, a city of 40,000 on the south shore of Montreal, says a basic income policy would help youth who have dropped out of high school to complete their education.

Mayor Denis Lapointe, who has been a 20-year veteran of municipal politics as mayor of the city, says his municipality has a fairly significant high school dropout rate, although many young people eventually try to access school and training.

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