Roderick Benns recently interviewed Toni Pickard about basic income policy. Pickard was a law professor at Queen’s University before she retired and is now the co-founder of the Kingston Action Group for a Basic Income Guarantee.
Benns: We hear often that basic income could replace the need for higher minimum wages. Many point out that with the scarcity of jobs, a better minimum wage will only reach a minority of people anyway. What do you believe?
Pickard: For me, minimum wages and basic income go together like bread and butter. Together they are wonderful. Each alone serves a purpose, but only one leaves a lot to be desired. Some recent media discussion seems premised on the view that the two are an either-or proposition. I don’t see why. They have different conceptual bases, different beneficiaries and different payers. There’s no need to choose between them.Read more
Roderick Benns recently interviewed Debra McAuslan, who advocates for basic income through her affiliation with the Kingston Basic Income group.
Benns: How did you come to be involved with the fight for a Basic Income?
McAuslan: I had heard about basic income almost 30 years ago, but did not understand poverty. I grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario. I have never personally known poverty. Naively, as a young adult, I believed everyone must have had the same experience I had. In nursing school during my psychiatry rotation I was totally overwhelmed by the prevalence of sexual abuse in the patient histories. During my nursing career, I have met people living in poverty, but seeing those living in poverty (when I had the privilege of visiting people’s homes during my years as a VON nurse) helped me to see the impact of poverty on health and the challenges of rural poverty.Read more
By Victor Lau
Saskatchewan is a province in transition. Traditionally alternating between two major political parties; the Sask NDP and a ‘conservative’ type party currently incarnated as the SaskParty.
Today, the Saskatchewan Green Party is challenging that status quo in the upcoming April 4, 2016 provincial election. A key policy in the Green Party ‘Real Change’ platform is the implementation of a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI).Read more
By Bill Curry
Globe and Mail
Federal Liberals invited a leading expert on guaranteed annual income to make the case at pre-budget hearings for a major overhaul of Canada’s social safety net.
The invitation is further evidence that Liberals are exploring an idea that has been debated for decades but is now gaining momentum in Canada and abroad.Read more
By Elaine Power
I’ve been studying the issue of food insecurity for over 20 years. Food insecurity refers to the state in which people can’t afford to buy healthy, culturally appropriate and personally acceptable food to feed themselves or their families.
It is a serious public health concern, affecting over 4 million Canadians including about 1.15 million children. It is clearly a symptom of poverty.
In low-income households, a lot of work (usually invisible) goes into managing the household budget. When it looks like there won’t be enough money for food, the person primarily responsible for food provisioning, usually a woman, intensifies the management process, first decreasing the quality of the food, substituting cheaper, more filling foods, to the detriment of fresh produce and dairy products.Read more
By Rob Rainer
One of the biggest worries about adopting a Basic Income Guarantee in Canada is its so-called ‘work disincentive.’
We have all grown up believing that in order to eat, to be housed, to be secure, we must work. And who has not thought that there is a linear relationship between work effort and well-being?
This correlation is now untrue, if ever it were. Countless people work hard yet struggle daily to survive, while others may not work at all yet enjoy the most sumptuous cuisine and the most luxurious surroundings. As has been said, if hard work equated with wealth, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.Read more
By Roderick Benns
Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site
The best story Ron Hikel ever heard about the famous ‘Mincome’ experiment from the 1970s has to do with a simple pick-up truck.
Mincome stands for minimum income – something that was given to about a third of the people who lived in Dauphin, Manitoba. It was a bold experiment started by the federal Liberal government to see what people would do with free money from the state.
Ron Hikel was the executive director of the Mincome project, a program that ran from from 1974 through 1978. When a Dutch TV crew showed up at his doorstep last year in Toronto to talk to him about Mincome, they then went on to Dauphin where the experiment had made everyone in the town eligible to apply for monthly income supplementation, based on earned income and family size.Read more