The idea of an unconditional basic income (UBI) floor where everyone starts with the same minimum amount of money as everyone else each month as an economic right of citizenship is not a new idea. UBI is an idea with a long history and thus a long history of support.
Among that support exists a number of Nobel prize winners.
The following is a compilation of some of those names and what they've said about UBI in recent years.Read more
For about a decade now, the charity GiveDirectly has been distributing cash straight to poor residents in sub-Saharan Africa, starting in Kenya and expanding later to Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Morocco.
The organization was founded by economists, and has been studying the impact of its programs from the get-go. But the research has focused narrowly on recipients: Were they better off, the same, or worse off than people not getting cash?Read more
Canadians are marching for Universal Basic Income on Oct. 26 as Toronto and cities around the world join forces – and it won’t be just Toronto, as people from former pilot centres Lindsay, Hamilton, Thunder Bay and other areas will also be taking part.
The event will be held in front of the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen’s Park, from where participants will march and hear from champions of a universal basic income in Canada.Read more
Thunder Bay Newswatch
Ruth Westcott says Ontario’s now-cancelled basic income pilot project changed her life.
It’s why she’s helping to lead a grassroots effort to ensure the program is available not only in Ontario again, but across the country.
Lifting people out of poverty must become a national priority, she said, speaking at city hall on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.Read more
Raise the Hammer
Brian Russell had $40 left in his pocket when he was one of 4,000 people selected for Ontario's basic income pilot project. "Your life is better," he says. "I had better food and money to travel around the city. My life was more stable and secure."
For Joan Frame, basic income payments from the province meant she no longer had to borrow from friends to make it through the last few days of the month. Frame says she was always juggling bills and that basic income gave her back power over her life.
"I don't know if you've ever been in a situation where you need to ask for money, but it is impossibly difficult," she says. "It was the worst part about being on any kind of assistance for me."Read more
Everything in Ruth Westcott’s life changed for the better when she became part of Ontario’s basic income pilot project.
The Thunder Bay woman had been on social assistance for nearly 30 years, but once she came out of the now-cancelled pilot project, her health improved dramatically and she became well enough to work.
“Just like everyone else I know on social assistance, I was getting sicker and sicker and more and more disabled the deeper and deeper my poverty was getting,” she said.Read more
Jessie Golem is a photographer and was, for a short time, a basic income recipient in Ontario. Beyond Trafficking and Slavery caught up with her at the 19th Global Basic Income Congress in Hyderabad, India, to chat about what the programme did for her, and what it meant to have it cut short.
Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: You were, for a short time, a recipient of a basic income in Canada. What was the program you were part of?
Jessie Golem: In 2017, the Ontario provincial government under the Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne introduced a three-year basic income pilot. They chose 4,500 people in four cities in Ontario, all of whom were making under C$30,000 a year, to receive an unconditional guaranteed basic income. The size of the income was put on a sliding scale. You could receive up to C$1,400 a month, but if you were working then it was reduced by 50 cents to the dollar. Because I was working, I received about C$700 a month.Read more