CBC News -- 'As it Happens'
The best government solution to poverty might be the simplest one: give money to poor people, no strings attached.
That's the idea behind a basic income pilot program for Ontario. This week, former Conservative Senator Hugh Segal released a discussion paper on how the pilot program should work.
Segal is proposing that people between the ages of 18 to 65, who are living under the low-income poverty line in Ontario, will earn a basic income of at least $1320 per month. Individuals with disabilities will receive $500 more.Read more
By Roderick Benns
Retired Conservative Senator Hugh Segal’s long awaited report on Ontario’s Basic Income pilot has been released, where he emphasizes the need to understand the full costs of poverty before fairly evaluating the new pilot.
Segal recommends a monthly payment of at least $1,320 for a single person which is about 75 percent of the province’s poverty line. For those with disabilities, Segal suggests a top-up of at least $500 a month.
The retired senator says any pilot project must understand poverty’s costs, not only in the present welfare and disability payments, “but also in terms of added pressures on our health system, and the Ontario economy as a whole, through its impacts on economic productivity and existing government revenues.”Read more
It has been hailed as the magic bullet to end poverty and denounced as a Trojan Horse to dismantle the social safety net.
But there has been little serious research to prove either position. Until now.
Ontario is poised to become ground zero for what may be the largest pilot project yet to test the notion of a basic income in North America.
In a discussion paper released Thursday, Ontario’s special adviser on basic income suggests topping up incomes of the working poor and replacing the province’s meagre and rule-bound social assistance program with a monthly payment of at least $1,320 for a single person, or about 75 per cent of the poverty line.Read more
A new pilot project from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne could guarantee working-age Ontario adults annual incomes of $22,000 by April 2017. The program, known as basic income, could come without work, education or health eligibility requirements.
Some experts say basic income can fix existing holes in the system and will most benefit women in their late 40s and early 50s without dependent children, as well as adults with disabilities. Others say it will have the most impact on youth, allowing them to stay in school longer and become social entrepreneurs.Read more
By Roderick Benns
The Kingston Action Group for a Basic Income Guarantee is living up to its name — taking action in the form of a national letter writing campaign directed at the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos.
The hope is that a large number of people will simply copy and paste this letter, adding their own name, address, and signature, and send it off to the Minister. (No stamp is necessary when snail-mailing a letter to a member of parliament.) The letter should create additional pressure for the federal government to consider the merits of a Basic Income policy.
The letter begins by acknowledging the Ministry’s work so far, and then quickly pivots to calling for support for a Basic Income.Read more
By Roderick Benns
In May 2016, Reza Hajivandi and a bunch of others interested in social issues ended up in the same space under the North York Community Housing Leadership and Community Engagement program in Toronto.
Through the course they were taking, they discussed and learned what community leadership and participation meant. As a last step of fulfilling the course’s requirements, they had to apply their skills and then both advocate and engage with the community on one issue. They chose Basic Income as their issue.Read more
Roderick Benns, publisher of Leaders and Legacies, spent nearly two years interviewing prominent leaders and academics across Canada on the merits of a basic income guarantee, hoping to help put the policy on the radar of politicians across the country.
A basic income (also known as a guaranteed annual income) would ensure no one ever drops below the poverty line. It ensures everyone an income sufficient to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of work status.
Articles appeared on Benns’ independent, non-partisan news site, Leaders and Legacies, over a two-year period. After gathering all of the articles and question and answer sessions together, Benns says he realized he had more than 70,000 words and a 290-page book to share – Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World. The book is available exclusively through Amazon.Read more