We abandon desperate people at society's peril

By Jon Sanderson   

Opinion 

Brexit has given the most racist elements in Britain a voice. The similarities between the UKIP movement and Donald Trump are apparent. Wide condemnations are flying across the social media spectrum. No one wants to admit that Canada is more than capable of descending into similar vitriol. Even worse, no one wants to talk about the economics of abandonment which is fueling the fires of hatred.

Capitalism has abandoned the majority of the population. By this point, listing the statistics has become something of a dog and pony show. Poverty is up. Unemployment is up. Precarious work is up. Wages are in decline. Wealth inequality is the core.

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Millennials likely benefit most from Ontario basic minimum income: Expert

Ontario is moving forward with exploring the idea of a basic minimum income, something that could be a big win for millennials, according to one University of Toronto expert.

The province announced last week it was appointing former senator Hugh Segal to report back by fall on what a pilot basic minimum income project could look like.

There aren’t many details on what exactly the province is planning, but the idea is to provide eligible people with a minimum level of income.

“For young people, a guaranteed level with no questions asked might actually be a good thing, instead of social assistance,” said Rodney Haddow, associate chair and director of undergraduate studies in the department of political science at the University of Toronto.

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Waterloo Region joins call for support of basic income resolution

Waterloo Region in Ontario has become the largest municipality in Canada’s largest province to support the movement toward establishing a Basic Income Guarantee in Canada.

The motion – which originated with Kingston City Council and was sent to all municipalities across Ontario – called for a national discussion on the issue, urging the provinces and federal government to work together to “consider, investigate, and develop a Basic Income Guarantee for all Canadians.”

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Reforms to income security in Ontario to work in tandem with Basic Income pilot

By Laurie Monsebraaten for the Toronto Star

If there’s one thing Helena Jaczek hates it’s losers.

As community and social services minister since 2014, Jaczek is determined to create only winners as she carries out her mandate to improve income security for vulnerable Ontarians, including almost 1 million living on social assistance.

“I said as long as I’m here, there are no losers,” she says, explaining the marching orders she has given to ministry bureaucrats.

It is also the challenge she has presented to members of a working group she will announce Wednesday to help her forge an action plan over the next 14 months.

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Hugh Segal made special advisor for Basic Income pilot in Ontario

With files from Roderick Benns

Ontario has appointed the Honourable Hugh Segal to provide advice on the design and implementation of a Basic Income Pilot in Ontario, as announced in the 2016 provincial budget.

Basic income, or guaranteed annual income, is a payment to eligible families or individuals that ensures a minimum level of income. Ontario will design and implement a pilot program to test the growing view that a basic income could help deliver income support more efficiently, while improving health, employment and housing outcomes for Ontarians.

As Special Advisor on Basic Income, Segal will draw on his expertise in Canadian and international models of basic income and consult with thought leaders to help Ontario design a pilot.

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Universal basic income, an idea whose time has come

By Bryan Dean Wright for the San Francisco Chronicle

Two recent studies from the Pew Research Center confirm what many in the U.S. have long suspected: The great economic engine of America — the middle class — is in full retreat, with its children stuck living at home.

As we look for answers, it’s become clear that there are none to be found in the boorish 2016 presidential campaign. What we hear are government solutions that are too expensive (free tuition), too fanciful (a big wall) or too much Uncle Sam (single-payer health care). While liberals and conservatives bicker, the middle class burns. They want their jobs back, along with the security that comes with them.

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Basic Income: Let's learn to value unpaid work

By Martin Whitlock for the Huffington Post

Which is more remarkable - that 77% of Swiss voters rejected proposals for a basic income in a referendum last weekend, or that 23% voted in favour? Admittedly the turnout was low, probably because there was little realistic chance of the proposal being passed, but the fact remains that nearly a quarter of the votes were in support of a radical, socially progressive idea of which nobody much was talking until very recently.

A well-executed basic income policy fixes so many socio-economic issues - both present and looming - that it’s tempting to think not if, but when.

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