When discussions about a basic income guarantee (BIG) gained more attention since the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of CERB, we saw first-hand what a program based on putting money directly into the hands of Canadians was able to do for so many during these difficult times – it prevented many from falling into poverty and let them meet their basic needs.
But a basic income type of program is not a new concept in Canada. The guaranteed income supplement (GIS) has been in effect since 1967 for Canadians over 65 years of age and has research showing the impacts that increased income has on poverty and overall improved health and well-being of these adults. In recent years, the Canada child benefit was established to provide families and caregivers with an income solution to help with costs of raising children.Read more
Reasons to be Cheerful
Twice a year, in North Carolina, Eastern Cherokee families receive a check in the mail for their share of the profits from the casinos owned by their tribe. The first of these casinos opened in 1995, and since then, researchers have been able to study the effects of the cash infusions on the families, many of whom were previously poor, and compare them to neighboring families who didn’t receive the cash. From an academic and scientific point of view the researchers lucked upon both an experimental group and a control group.
What they’ve found is amazing: The children of the families receiving cash have fewer drug and alcohol problems, fewer mental health issues, fewer arrests and are 15 percent more likely to finish school. Non-Cherokee families living nearby, who don’t receive any cash, are the convenient control group — their environment and situation is pretty much the same, and sure enough, their kids have not experienced similar improvements in outcomes.Read more
The Globe and Mail
As we come to terms with the one-year anniversary of COVID lockdowns, Canada’s arts community is focused on creating a brighter and more sustainable future.
A future that takes advantage of the upheaval wrought by the pandemic, to repair the broken model outlined by Marsha Lederman on March 13.
To be effective, this repair will include provision of a Basic Income Guarantee.
We, the leaders of Canada’s largest municipal arts councils, are coming together for the very first time to advocate on behalf of the artists and residents of Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg. Collectively, we represent the country’s largest concentrations of artists. We know our communities and their challenges well.Read more
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says her department has received widespread support during consultations with various stakeholders for the introduction of a basic income grant (BIG) policy for South Africans in need and unemployed.
The minister participated in a debate in National Assembly on Thursday on the BIG.
She said her department was finalising its proposals, including financing options and implementation pathways in the coming financial year, following which they would seek Cabinet approval of the necessary legislative processes.Read more
Durham community leaders are encouraging governments at all levels to consider basic income for people across Canada.
It comes as individuals and families continue their struggle to make ends meet amid the ongoing pandemic.
As the executive director of Feed the Need Durham, Ben Earl has seen first-hand how the pandemic has highlighted growing poverty and financial instability in the region.
“The long time attrition of middle-class incomes, the changing labour market and increasing market precarity, growing poverty and inequality — those problems have all been around for a long time,” Earl said.Read more
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.Read more
Last month I watched the fantastic BBC eight-part series of Les Misérables on CBC Gem.
The miniseries is not based on the celebrated musical but rather the darker offering of Victor Hugo’s novel on 19th century urban France as it was on the cusp of revolution. Observing the working-class characters’ brutal lives got me thinking about “free time.”
Ninety years ago, John Maynard Keynes figured we’d be working just 30 hours a week by 2030. Our problem, he surmised, would be a surplus of free time.Read more