The robots are coming for your job

By Scott Santens

On Dec. 2, 1942, a team of scientists led by Enrico Fermi came back from lunch and watched as humanity created the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction inside a pile of bricks and wood underneath a football field at the University of Chicago. Known to history as Chicago Pile-1, it was celebrated in silence with a single bottle of Chianti, for those who were there understood exactly what it meant for humankind, without any need for words.

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Feds should implement pilot project on basic income

By Senator Art Eggleton

We have immense challenges in our country when it comes to poverty. We have families that struggle to pay rent. We have children that can't afford school supplies or to go on school trips. We also have many that can't afford to put good food on the table and have to rely on donations at the food banks just to feed their families.

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Let’s get the basic income pilots right

By Laura Anderson and Danielle Martin

The so-called basic income guarantee is having a moment.

Hot on the heels of Quebec’s plan to explore the policy, it was announced that Ontario’s provincial budget included funds for a basic income pilot project. And on that very day, Senator Art Eggleton tabled a motion calling on the Senate of Canada to encourage the federal government to do the same.

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Elections and New Opportunities at BICN

Dear basic income supporters,

The basic income movement is building, even snowballing, faster than many imagined and BICN is building too. Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is going to be held in May again this year....but with some big differences that could involve you!

First, there are five existing Director positions open for election AND we are expanding the total number of Directors from 10 to 13, to allow for more voices and greater representation from across the country. This means up to eight people can be elected or re-elected to the Board of Directors this year for a two-year term. The deadline for nominations is April 20.

Second, we are seeking applications for Membership on a new and important BICN Advisory Council! We are starting with 30 members this year and are aiming for a good balance among people with diverse backgrounds, skills, experience and areas of expertise. We particularly want to encourage members who can represent local and regional groups to reflect the importance of their activism to the basic income movement. 

The deadline for applications is April 8.  Members will be accepted in time for them to vote in the election of Directors.

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Ottawa facing mounting pressure to consider basic income after Ontario budget

By Bill Curry

Ottawa is facing new pressure to act on a basic-income guarantee after the Ontario government announced it will test the idea.

Thursday’s Ontario budget said the province will conduct a basic-income pilot to study whether providing people with a guaranteed minimum amount of income would be a more efficient and effective way to deliver social support. The project will test claims by those who say it would help the working poor and lead to savings in health care and administration.

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Ontario to try basic income pilot

By Roderick Benns

After a groundswell of support from mayors across the province, including pressure from health units and organizations of all social policy stripes, Ontario will proceed with a basic income guarantee pilot project.

The location of the pilot has not yet been announced but the recent provincial budget document makes clear that the government pledges to “work with communities, researchers and other stakeholders in 2016 to determine how best to design and implement a Basic Income pilot.”

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Basic income and healthy minimum wage go together: retired professor

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.

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