At Supercrawl this weekend, Hamilton photographer Jessie Golem brought an interactive, human face to the premature cancellation of the universal basic income pilot project through her photo exhibit Humans of Basic Income.
Ten portraits of individuals whose lives had been radically changed by the premature cancellation stood outside Centre 3 for Print and Media Arts on James Street North. Several recipients of the basic income pilot sat in front of the photo display, sharing with passersby their own personal experiences.
The premature end of Ontario’s basic income pilot project is a serious breach of Canadian and international research ethics that harms Canada’s reputation on the world stage, say academics and activists from across the globe.
“Standards for the ethical conduct of social experiments involving humans have evolved significantly in recent years,” says University of Manitoba health economist Evelyn Forget in an open letter to Premier Doug Ford and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod.
The city of Chicago is considering implementing monthly payments to struggling families to cover costs of food, housing or transportation.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is considering these monthly payments as universal income for the people of Chicago. Ameya Pawar, an alderman for the city's North Side, introduced a resolution in June, which called on the mayor to launch a program that would pay $500 every month to 1,000 families, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Sheila Regehr Roosevelt House
In the matter of where things stand on basic income in Canada, I find that a great deal depends on how it is named and framed. By clearing away some confusion, I think there is good reason to be optimistic about the success of the movement towards a basic income for everyone in this country.
While all the global factors that are driving renewed interest in basic income play out in Canada, from concerns about technological unemployment to democratic deficits and environmental crises, there are important practical debates specific to our country. Two key debates revolve around whether basic income threatens other social infrastructure like public services, and whether a basic income is too radical or bold an idea for a country that tends towards ‘relentless incrementalism’ (setting aside that when we have gone bold, as with medicare, we have had iconic success).
We, collectively, represent the principal investigators, research teams and stakeholder groups behind several distinct basic income experiments underway in Finland, Scotland, the Netherlands, the USA, Spain, Kenya and India. We profoundly regret that you chose to cancel the Ontario Basic Income Guarantee Experiment prematurely.
Each of our experimental designs is somewhat different, reflecting our own political and social context. Together these experiments have the potential to produce data upon which evidence-informed social policy might be based. Ontario represented a key piece of the analysis, and has been watched closely by policymakers and researchers around the globe.
Nearly 600 people have signed on to take part in a universal basic income (UBI) experiment in the northern Swiss town of Rheinau meaning researchers are close to hitting the number needed for the project to have any chance of going ahead.
In the seven days since the enrolment process began, 588 residents of the town have agreed to take part in the project which would see participating adults receive a monthly universal basic income (UBI) of 2,500 francs ($2,570) for a year.
This means the woman behind the experiment, Swiss filmmaker Rebecca Panian, has almost hit her target of at least 650 participants.
This figure equates to half the population of Rheinau and she considers it the absolute minimum level of participation required before the fundraising stage of the project can go ahead.