Meet the Canadian doctor who prescribes money to low-income patients

The Vox

Gary Bloch became a doctor because he wanted to help people who were less privileged than him. For years, he tried his best to treat patients coping with poverty and homelessness.

But no matter how many blood tests he ordered and prescriptions he wrote, many of his patients’ health problems persisted. He realized it was because he wasn’t addressing the issue that most plagued them: poverty.

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Food bank use swells after cancellation of basic income

Roderick Benns

Nearly 300 additional people reached out to Kawartha Lakes Food Source for help in the past month, just as the PC government’s premature cancellation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot had taken effect.

According to General Manager Heather Kirby, of Kawartha Lakes Food Source, there were 1,164 people seeking help this past month across Kawartha Lakes, including Lindsay – a rise of 267 new people. Of note is that 404 are children.

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Alberta could implement guaranteed basic income with no major new funding needed: report

CBC News

Alberta could reduce poverty and introduce a guaranteed basic income with virtually no new funding by simply tweaking how it issues tax credits, according to a new report.

"Converting just a few non-refundable tax credits into refundable ones can produce a guaranteed annual income of over $6,000 for a single-adult family and over $9,000 for a two-adult family, with no significant new funding required," the report from Wayne Simpson and Harvey Stevens at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy reads. 

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Does Universal Basic Income Work? This Hedge Fund Boss Wants to Find Out


As the idea of giving every American a monthly check migrates from the political fringes toward the center of policy debates, one hedge-fund executive is contributing research on whether, and how, such a scheme might actually work.

Bob Jain, 48, created the Jain Family Institute, a nonprofit applied-research organization, in 2014 to investigate, among other things, programs for “guaranteed income.” Better known as Universal Basic Income, the idea is to give money to people, regardless of income bracket, at regular intervals.

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Halifax hosted a basic income conference to press for national program

Global News

Advocates of a national basic income plan are calling on the provincial and federal governments to adopt a Canadian basic income guarantee program and say the “evidence speaks” for itself.

Basic Income Nova Scotia is hosting a mini-conference Saturday at the Halifax Central Library from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will bring experts from a range of backgrounds, from health and economics to those who live in poverty, in order to make the case for a universal basic income program and show how it can be implemented in Nova Scotia.

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Ford government fails people on disability in transition from BI to ODSP; pharmacists step in

Roderick Benns

A local social worker is sounding the alarm over the transition for people who were collecting basic income and then returned to ODSP, which left some people on disability with a gap in medication coverage.

Karla Forgaard-Pullen, a social worker based in Lindsay, says that some of the basic income recipients who were previously on ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) are on a backlogged list waiting for their return to the program to be green lit. The basic income program issued its last payment in March.

“But what also ended March 31 is health and dental coverage,” says Forgaard-Pullen. “This means that there are medically disabled people living without access to their required prescription medications until, and if, they receive approval of their status as ODSP recipients.”

She says she knows that at least some of these cases the medications prescribed “are critical to their lives.”

Cathy Puffer, owner and pharmacist at Remedy’sRx confirms this.

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Everyone's Talking About Basic Income. Here Are 8 Problems It Could Fix

Guy Standing, Time Magazine

In America, and around the world, there has been a surge of interest in basic income. Under a basic income scheme, a government gives a fixed amount of cash, without strings attached, to every citizen. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is campaigning on the promise of a $1,000 basic income for all Americans, India’s opposition Congress Party pledged a basic income for the poor, and Finland recently completed a two-year basic income trial.

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