Pandemic relief efforts inspiring basic income discussions

The Beacon Herald

With millions still out of work and a so-called new normal yet to be fully realized, Canada’s social safety net has been put under a harsh spotlight during the pandemic, and some observers, including non-profit and public health leaders in Huron and Perth counties, are ready to discuss where we should go from here.

Leading the way locally is United Way Perth Huron and its Social Research and Planning Council. In a discussion paper published last month, the council set a clear direction towards basic income, an idea that was brushed aside in Ontario as recently as last year but is again picking up steam as the number of applications for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit surpasses 8.5 million.

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Basic Income Plus: Five demands for a better Canada

Roderick Benns

Pandemics force us to take stock of our values in society; they clarify our sense of mortality and reveal how strong or weak our social fabric is.

More sensitized to our common humanity now, we must organize our economy to care for one another better.

What has been exposed in 2020 is that our current economy does not serve the needs of the majority in our society.

The social fabric has been torn; too many people are being left behind in poverty, including right here in Kawartha Lakes.

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Health unit calls for universal basic income

North Bay Nugget

Food insecurity has been identified as a public health issue in some parts of Northern Ontario for a few years now, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it worse.

The issue has prompted the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit to ask the prime minister to support the idea of creating a universal basic income for all Canadian families — enough that they can afford to buy groceries.
Kendra Patrick, a public health dietitian with the health unit, says food insecurity refers to a household that does not have enough money to buy healthy food.


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The Future of Small Business Enterprises in Canada

Joe Foster

Small Businesses are rewarding in many ways. Not only the employees but also the owners live, work and contribute to our social and economic well being. They are an essential part of our communities.  

However, it is painfully clear that many Small Businesses in Canada are in trouble. "The Canadian economy changed dramatically in March 2020 as a result of COVID-19 and the situation has had a profound impact on the ability of businesses in Canada to operate. While the majority of businesses in Canada have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears that small businesses have been hit particularly hard by this crisis." (Impact of COVID-19 on small businesses in Canada-StatCan). This is not surprising. In the US, The Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joe Stiglitz warns, ”Unless we put small businesses and average Americans at the center of our recovery, the economic recovery will be difficult. If we don’t manage things well, this will be the deepest downturn in living memory”. However, well before the current pandemic, automation and globalization were seriously threatening to take away customers from Small Businesses. Without  jobs and stable incomes, families cannot support local businesses, money does not circulate, and the structure of our overall economic system is undermined.

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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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