Pandemic Hurdles for Basic Income

On January 18, I participated in a webinar organized by the office of Senator Kim Pate, for politicians and stakeholders interested in a Basic Income for Canadians. Several well-known and highly-respected speakers took part, including former senators Hugh Segal and Art Eggleton, Murray Sinclair,  Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Graham Fox, CEO of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Professor Evelyn Forget, and the Chair of Basic Income Canada Network, Sheila Regehr.

Everyone endorsed the concept and discussed how it could be implemented, pointing out that it would help to “build back better” after the pandemic. 

With the exception of the observation by a participant that neither the PM nor the Minister of Finance seem to be on board,  the overall feeling was upbeat about increasing support. Polls show increasing public support. The Liberal, NDP and Green parties have all endorsed it. A number of mainstream national organizations have either endorsed some variant of it or supported the idea of pilot projects. The Province of Prince Edward Island has asked for federal assistance to implement it. 

So when the country’s top two are not in favor, you have to wonder where they are getting their advice. I could speculate.

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