Is now the time for a universal basic income in Canada?

The Guardian

Canada is a country with no shortage of government programs aimed at assisting individuals and families in need.

Decade after decade during the 20th century Canada built the architecture of a welfare state to eradicate social and political injustices.

Bits and pieces of policy at the federal and provincial level now make up a fortress of legislation to address the basic needs of individuals and groups.

For example, at the federal level in 1942 Unemployment Insurance would become Employment Insurance, followed by Family Allowance Act 1944, Old Age Security 1951, 1954 Disabled Persons Act, 1956 Hospital Insurance, Old Age Security Act, 1965, 1966, Canada Assistance Plan (grants to provinces), 1967 Guaranteed Income Supplement, 1979 Child Tax Credit.

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Basic income plan aims to rid Spain of its 'hunger queues'

CGTN.com

A minimum income plan is being drawn up by the Spanish government to tackle poverty and end the "hunger queues" that have become a frequent sight under coronavirus lockdown.

For 38-year-old Roberto Sotelo, from Madrid and his family, the economic impact of coronavirus is taking its toll. The construction worker was laid off three months ago, and the lockdown has so far stopped him from working.

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Kitchener council pressing province, feds for universal basic income

Kitchener Today

It's all about creating options for those without a source of income during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kitchener city council has endorsed a motion, asking the Ontario government to pursue a partnership with their federal counterparts to establish a Universal Basic Income (UBI).

Ward 7 councillor Bil Ioannidis put the motion forward Monday, saying he wanted to get the conversation going, and wants a broader discussion on the topic.

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The coronavirus pandemic demonstrates the wisdom of a universal basic income

Hamilton News

What a difference a year makes.

Last March, Ontario’s basic income pilot project was cancelled, leaving about 4,000 Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay residents scrambling to recoup a monthly financial stipend they said had transformed their lives.

Under the program, individuals would receive about $13,000 per year, while couples got about $19,000 regardless of employment status. Individuals receiving the financial help said knowing they would have a sustainable and secure source of money immediately bolstered their health, improved their self-esteem and allowed them to look for a job or establish a path to carve out a career.

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Pandemic proves it's time for basic income for all, economists say

CBC News

The next time the world is blindsided by a global emergency, the economy will better survive it if everyone is paid what they need to survive it -- before it hits, experts say.

And if employers don't cough up the cash, they say, governments should.

"It is now quite clear that virtually everybody in society has a profound interest in lower-income people having the purchasing power to buy food and pay their rent," said political scientist Ron Hikel. 

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Basic income in Manitoba should be a right, not a privilege, says BIM chair

Global News

Many Canadians have lost jobs but have been saved from financial ruin during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A major contributor has been the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), providing $500 a week for those who have lost their income. As of May 7, the federal government has received 11.21 million applications for the benefit.

Now, some are hoping the government keeps that type of social assistance around.

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MP Cannings: It’s time to take a serious look at basic income in Canada

The Castlegar Source

COVID-19 has obviously changed our lives in the short term, and now there is a growing consensus that the pandemic will also bring more long-lasting changes to our society—how we value workers, how we treat our seniors, how we house the homeless, how we protect the environment, and more.

One topic that is surfacing more and more often is the idea of a basic income.  One of the first things we learned when the pandemic began was that Employment Insurance was completely inadequate to protect workers from lost income.  Sixty percent of workers do not even qualify for EI.

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