Bring on the guaranteed basic income, Canada

The Telegram

Letter to Editor

During this COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister 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 (1929-39) and the Second World War (1939-45) 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.

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Basic income guarantee can be reality on P.E.I., says poverty committee chair

CBC News

The chair of an all-party committee on poverty believes a basic income guarantee can become a reality on P.E.I. — and the COVID-19 pandemic has helped show what is possible.

Green Party MLA Trish Altass said she is encouraged by the agreement on the guiding principles put forth by the committee on what a basic income guarantee would look like.

"It's a realization that everyone deserves to live with basic health and dignity and I was so pleased that we came to that agreement," she said.

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Canadian artists, writers, performers call for national basic income

CBC News

A group of Canadian artists, writers, technicians and performers is calling on Ottawa to guarantee a basic income for anyone in need.

Novelist and screenwriter Emma Donoghue, poet George Elliott Clarke and opera singer Adrianne Pieczonka are listed among those supporting a call to "provide financial security to meet people's basic needs, regardless of their work status."

The concept would involve the government making regular payments to citizens to meet their basic needs.

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Kingston man assists in co-ordinating report touting basic income benefits

The Whig

Jamie Swift has been arguing for the introduction of a basic income for years.

But with the previously unseen levels of economic downturn initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the movement toward basic income has earned increasing traction in recent months.

Swift, a local writer and member of the Kingston Action Group for a basic income guarantee, was one of four people who co-ordinated a new report by the Ontario Basic Income Network that says basic income will be crucial to the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

“The idea of basic income has indeed gone viral,” Swift said.

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Advocates hopeful CERB will pave way for universal basic income

CBC News

Advocates for a universal basic income say they're hopeful the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program, introduced to help unemployed and underemployed Canadians through the pandemic, will pave the way toward a more equitable system for all.

Turning the CERB into a universal basic income is the logical progression for the program, according to Elaine Power, a Queen's University researcher and member of the Basic Income Canada Network in Kingston, Ont.

"There's more and more pressure on the government, I would say, to extend the CERB. I think the basic income would be a logical extension of CERB, and it's a more rational plan," Power told Ottawa Morning on Thursday.

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Region to be asked to lobby for basic income guarantee

St. Catharines Standard

Niagara’s public health department is asking regional councillors to lobby upper-tier governments to develop a guaranteed basic income pilot project, in light of the inequitable impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on low income residents.

A motion will be considered at Tuesday’s public health and social services committee meeting, recommends that councillors call on the federal and provincial government to prioritize measures to reduce poverty and income inequality in society, while recommending pilot projects such as basic income guarantee projects.

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Basic Income: Living without fear

Winnipeg Free Press

Basic Income Manitoba partnered with the Winnipeg Free Press for its essay contest that challenged entrants to write about what it would mean to have a society in which every individual had sufficient income for their basic needs.

As part of that partnership, the Free Press is publishing the winning entries from the high school and post-secondary categories.

High school winner: Heidi Jean, Maples Met School

Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, once wrote, "In the daily lives of most men and women, fear plays a greater part than hope: they are more filled with the thought of the possessions that others may take from them, than of the joy that they might create in their own lives and in the lives with which they come in contact."

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