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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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."Read more
For many years, basic income was seen to be a niche political issue with sparse support among major political figures.
However, the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) and advocates in other countries have been tireless in its pursuit.
With reported successes in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot and growth of electoral support across North America galvanized by leaders like Andrew Yang, support has expanded.
In Canada, several senators and business leaders have aligned themselves behind the concept.Read more
During this COVID 19 Pandemic, 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 – 1939) and the Second World War (1939 – 1945) 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!
Some people are aware that I have been involved with the Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy consultations since it was first initiated by the former Danny Williams PC Government in 2005! When it comes to Poverty and our social safety net, it is a complicated issue.
Out of the poverty reduction strategy recommendations, there is pharmacare, dental care, child care, basic income, a living wage, housing, and medical transportation, etc.Read more
In April, Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan made a comment in the red chamber that should make young people from coast-to-coast-to-coast furious.
Pointing to the supposed work disincentives of benefits such as the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) or The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the senator described a scenario in which students did not pursue summer jobs, but were instead “hanging out by the pool, most likely at their parents’ house.”Read more