A bold Conservative platform would include universal basic income

Policy Options

Out of a party leadership race that seemed perpetually overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and protests for racial justice, Canada’s Conservatives elected as their leader a mild-mannered, former air force officer and lawyer.

Erin O’Toole, a cabinet minister in the Harper government, now has the tough job of convincing Canadians that he is markedly different than the two previous Conservative leaders. In his maiden speech as leader, O’Toole assured Canadians that he would lead a Conservative Party where anyone — regardless of race, sexual orientation or length of time in Canada — could feel welcome.

While that rhetoric is helpful when running for the leadership of a political party, over 95 percent of Canadians don’t join political parties and Conservatives would be better served to focus on delivering on Canadians’ priorities.

And with the potential of a fall election on the horizon, there has never been a better time for bold and courageous policies that would provide support to Canadians who are still struggling. These policies should be funded by raising taxes on those who have been unfairly avoiding it for decades.

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How Universal Basic Income could save capitalism


Long before Covid-19 hit, faith in capitalism was faltering. The global recession of 2008 highlighted the growing gulf between the haves and the have-nots in developed economies. Soon after, the rise of China’s state-managed economy challenged the hegemony of unconstrained free markets.

In the United States, the surging pandemic has sent inequality into overdrive. American billionaires have grown 20 percent richer, as unemployment has soared to record levels. It remains to be seen just how much of this cognitive dissonance the system can sustain before spinning into total chaos.

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End of CERB could complicate EI system, open door to basic income, says senator

CTV News

Senator Yuen Pau Woo is advocating for an experimental basic income program at the provincial level, citing the complications to the employment insurance program after the end of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Woo, who spoke at a webinar about resetting the financial sector hosted by the University of Victoria, says that a basic income program could be a solution to income inequality stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.

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Germany is set to trial a Universal Basic Income scheme

World Economic Forum

Germany is about to become the latest country to trial a universal basic income, starting a three-year study of how it affects the economy and recipients' well-being.

As part of the study, 120 people will receive €1,200, or about $1,430, each month for three years — an amount just above Germany's poverty line — and researchers will compare their experiences with another group of 1,380 people who will not receive the payments.

The study, conducted by the German Institute for Economic Research, has been funded by 140,000 private donations.

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Ontario youth need a guaranteed basic income

The Spec

Ask youth what they would do with an extra $2,000 a month and the answers might surprise you.

Young people disproportionately struggle with mental health issues and undertake increasing student debts, all while facing a daunting post-pandemic-era job market at a time when many jobs are precarious, underpaid, or part of the gig economy.

In a recent webinar series held by the Ontario Council for International Cooperation’s Youth Policy-Makers Hub (OCIC’s YPH,) 92 per cent of respondents said they would support a guaranteed livable income (GLI) in Canada and most participants answered that $2,000 a month would give them better educational, health, and housing options.

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Manitoba MP submits motion to convert CERB benefit to permanent basic income

Global News

A Winnipeg MP is looking to convert the Canada Emergency Response Benefit into a permanent fixture.

Winnipeg Centre MP Leah Gazan tabled a motion in the House of Commons to convert CERB into a permanent guaranteed liveable basic income.

“COVID-19 has demonstrated that we do have the resources. We must ensure all individuals in Canada can thrive in dignity and that means making investments to ensure basic human rights for all,” she said.

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Health Unit supports federal basic income guarantee

Northern News

Officials from the Timiskaming Health Unit say they “strongly support a federal basic income guarantee (BIG) as an effective and long-term measure to address poverty and food insecurity, issues that severely impact our population health.

Laura Dias, Public Health Dietitian with the THU states that back in early June the Board of Health Board of Health decided to “endorse the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) call for the federal government to take swift and immediate action on the evolution of the CERB Benefit into legislation for a basic income”.

She added that while this support comes in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandmeic, the local health unit has long advocated for a basic income guarantee.

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