Green Party leader urges feds to consider universal basic income as 'safety net' beyond pandemic

Green Party leader Annamie Paul is calling on the federal government to launch discussions on creating a national guaranteed livable income.

“A guaranteed livable income is almost inevitably going to have to be part of the solution if we’re going to ensure that everyone has a social safety net beneath them,” Paul said at a roundtable discussion Monday with Independent Sen. Kim Pate and co-founder of Revenu de base Québec Jonathan Brun.

Paul says the pandemic has shed light on the high number of people who would have been struggling to make ends meet — had it not been for emergency benefits.

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Liberal MP Says Some Cabinet Ministers ‘Very Supportive’ Of Basic Income

Huffington Post

Liberal MP Julie Dzerowicz says her push for basic income has traction among her caucus colleagues, including a number of cabinet ministers. 

Dzerowicz introduced a private members’ bill this week, Bill C-273, which calls on the federal finance minister to study guaranteed basic income models and develop a national strategy to evaluate how a program could be implemented in Canada. 

“I will tell you that I do know that there’s cabinet ministers that are very supportive of basic income,” the Toronto MP told HuffPost Canada during a virtual meeting availability to discuss her bill Thursday. There’s a “broad swath” of Liberal caucus members who support the idea, Dzerowicz said. “I don’t want to give you the number, but it’s quite a few.”

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MP Julie Dzerowicz introduces private members bill to establish national strategy for a guaranteed basic income

Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport, has introduced legislation in the House of Commons that would enable a national strategy for a guaranteed basic income in Canada. 

This is the first time a bill has been introduced in the House of Commons on guaranteed basic income.    

If passed, this bill would enable the federal government to establish pilot projects in one or more provinces to test models of implementation of a guaranteed basic income program; create a framework of national standards to guide the implementation of a guaranteed basic income program in any province, and collect data on the impact on government (including responsiveness, cost and reducing the complexity of and/or replacing existing social programs), on recipients, and on recipient communities (including entrepreneurship, job creation and civic action).

Canada’s current social welfare system was created in the 1970s. No matter how many times it is adjusted still too many people fall through the cracks, says a media release.

“Canada needs a robust social welfare system that meets the needs of the 21st century worker, that is more flexible and adaptive while being less complex and better at tackling inequality,” says Dzerowicz.

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A voice against burying the idea of a basic income for Canadians

Hugh Segal

Toronto Star

A recent report of the British Columbia Expert Panel on Basic Income prepared over two years by three economists, two from B.C. and one from Alberta, has given encouragement to long standing opponents of a basic income.

In some ways, however, the very nature of their sixty-five recommendations for program changes in income security and related programs in B.C. undercuts the anti-basic income orientation of the report itself.

The analysis and recommendations of the report do appear to have the authors bumping into themselves while coming around the corner.

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Workshop on writing letters to the editor as basic income advocates

Are you a basic income supporter looking to take your advocacy to the next level? Do you ever feel frustrated by the news and wish you could have your voice heard?

Have you considered writing letters to the editor, but aren't sure how to take the first step? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this workshop is for you!

Join the Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN) and the Basic Income Canada Youth Network (BICYN) on February 22nd (7-8:30 EST) for this practical, hands-on, interactive session on writing letters to the editor as basic income advocates in Canada. 


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Has the basic income idea been debunked? Not so fast

Andrew Coyne

The Globe and Mail

The concept of a basic income – combining several existing income and social supports into a single, income-tested but otherwise unconditional cash benefit – has been debated for more than 200 years.

It has drawn support, and criticism, from across the political spectrum, attacked or praised as either utopian socialism or minimal-state libertarianism. But has the whole debate just been settled?

You’d think so, to judge from some of the responses to the recent report of the British Columbia Expert Panel on Basic Income. It’s not hard to see why. The report’s authors are all highly regarded economists. 

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Basic income is needed to underpin a fairer society

Jamie Cooke

The year 2020 has demonstrated why the expression “May you live in interesting times” is seen as a curse. As the world reeled under the loss of life, economic impacts and the removal of opportunities many of us have taken for granted, the desire to move back to more stable times has appeared attractive.

Yet the chaos we continue to live through also offers us a chance to reimagine the world we live in — to challenge the dominant presumptions we entered the pandemic with, and to implement new policies to ensure we build forward better.

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