Basic Income: Is This the Time?


For many years, basic income was seen to be a niche political issue with sparse support among major political figures.

However, the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) and advocates in other countries have been tireless in its pursuit.

With reported successes in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot and growth of electoral support across North America galvanized by leaders like Andrew Yang, support has expanded.

In Canada, several senators and business leaders have aligned themselves behind the concept.

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We need guaranteed basic income

The Review

During this COVID 19 Pandemic, Justin Trudeau should seize this moment and take an initiative to implement new socially progressive programs, like a universal basic income and a national pharmacare program. Our country needs a Franklin Delano Roosevelt “New Deal” Approach to some of our country’s socioeconomic ills! Out of the Great Depression (1929 – 1939) and the Second World War (1939 – 1945) came Social Security and Unemployment Insurance, and in Canada’s case, Family Allowance (or the “Baby Bonus”).

Many of our European allies implemented universal public medicare (including pharmacare) systems in their respective countries long before Canada did. Now, hard times call for desperate measures!

Some people are aware that I have been involved with the Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy consultations since it was first initiated by the former Danny Williams PC Government in 2005! When it comes to Poverty and our social safety net, it is a complicated issue.

Out of the poverty reduction strategy recommendations, there is pharmacare, dental care, child care, basic income, a living wage, housing, and medical transportation, etc.

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Halpenny: Youth voices are needed in the basic income debate

Ottawa Citizen

In April, Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan made a comment in the red chamber that should make young people from coast-to-coast-to-coast furious.

Pointing to the supposed work disincentives of benefits such as the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) or The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the senator described a scenario in which students did not pursue summer jobs, but were instead “hanging out by the pool, most likely at their parents’ house.”

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Basic Income Canada Network included in short list of 6 Canadian groups working toward positive change

Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) has been included in a recently published video wiki "Groups Working Toward Positive Change In Canada.

Millions of monthly visitors will have a chance to learn about BICN and its mission.

The group points out BICN is a non-partisan organization advocating for a Basic Income Guarantee for the country's population.

“Arguing that the rise of automation will drive mass unemployment, this group calls for a universal wage to serve as a safety net, supporting independence and career flexibility.

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BICN launches COVID-19 stories report, showing urgent need for basic income

The Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) today released a COVID-19 Stories Report, highlighting individual and family experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government response benefits, and the impact on their health and economic wellbeing. These experiences make a strong case for transitioning emergency measures into a basic income going forward.

The 141 stories reflect the diversity of people across the country living in a wide range of situations. They also reflect generosity and concern for others—the best of Canada. People able to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) express gratitude to the federal government for its rapid response, and for the $2000 per month amount of the benefit to enable basic needs to be met.

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How to build a better Canada after COVID-19: Transform CERB into a basic annual income program

The Conversation

COVID-19 has prompted the federal government to support individuals through the Canada Economic Emergency Benefit (CERB).

Simultaneously, advocacy for a basic annual income has exploded, with some suggesting the CERB could evolve into a basic income.

Basic income has become the Swiss Army knife of social policy.

Beyond offering sufficient income to manage the daily expenses of living, advocates believe it will improve health and psychological outcomes, enhance distributive justice, mitigate the employment effects of automation, spur gender equality, create true freedom, improve the esthetics of existence and transform the relationship between people and work.

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Canada’s forgotten universal basic income experiment

BBC News

Evelyn Forget was a psychology student in Toronto in 1974 when she first heard about a ground-breaking social experiment that had just begun in the rural Canadian community of Dauphin, Manitoba.

“I found myself in an economics class which I wasn’t looking forward to,” she remembers. “But in the second week, the professor came in, and spoke about this wonderful study which was going to revolutionise the way we delivered social programmes in Canada. To me, it was a fascinating concept, because until then I’d never really realised you could use economics in any kind of positive way.”

The experiment was called ‘Mincome’, and it had been designed by a group of economists who wanted to do something to address rural poverty. Once it was implemented in the area, it had real results: over the four years that the program ended up running in the 1970s, an average family in Dauphin was guaranteed an annual income of 16,000 Canadian dollars ($11,700, £9,400).

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