Not feeding people is not an option for us

Halifax Examiner

I wrote about Universal Basic Income last May when I attended the Basic Income Conference hosted by Basic Income Nova Scotia. I saw a number of comments and posts about basic income in the last few days as a way to help the workers who are now out of work because of COVID-19.

As I learned, a basic income can help not only low and minimum wage workers, but also gig workers like musicians and artists, as well as entrepreneurs just starting out. Many of these workers are out of an income right now and don’t qualify for EI (although yesterday, Premier Stephen McNeil did say EI should be extended to the self-employed). In yesterday’s Morning File, Tim mentioned the need for a basic income as a bottom-up way to support the economy and workers.

Yesterday, Basic Income Nova Scotia released a statement and a petition calling on the federal government to start a basic-income program now for those workers who may sink into poverty over the next weeks and months. Here’s the full statement:

The Corona Virus pandemic is a public concern of huge proportions. Many at all governmental levels are focused upon how to deal with the health and economic fall-outs from it. The danger that we face in our response, is that temporary stop-gap measures will be implemented, focusing upon what are perceived as ‘more deserving’ segments of the population. As a society, we feel great concern for people who may become unemployed and sink into poverty. We are concerned for the precariat who will face their worst nightmares. These people will face dilemmas that are a way of life for people already living in poverty. But when the pandemic subsides, poverty will still exist.

To read more, click here and scroll to #5.