By Roderick Benns
The County of Peterborough has endorsed a resolution first kick-started by Kingston, Ontario, to support the development of a basic income guarantee for Canadians.
The County is the upper tier level of municipal government and is composed of eight lower tier municipalities. Ontario’s Peterborough County is a mix of agriculture, urban life and lakeside cottages, along with wilderness areas in its north.
Just over a month ago, the City of Kingston became the first municipality in Canada to call for the development of a basic income guarantee for all Canadians. Its council unanimously passed a motion calling for a national discussion on the issue, hoping this will lead the provinces and federal government to work together to “consider, investigate, and develop a Basic Income Guarantee for all Canadians.”
The Kingston resolution was forwarded to all municipalities in Ontario with the request that they consider indicating their own support for the initiative.
Momentum continues to build for this new shift in social policy, which would ultimately usher in the end of the welfare system and the beginning of a guaranteed income from the government that would keep people above the poverty line.
Other indicators across Canada that signals growing support for the policy includes:
- The election of an NDP government in Alberta, which was once a Conservative bastion
- Families, Children and Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, an economist by training, signalled strong support for a basic income guarantee in a 2008 Institute for Research on Public Policy brief, as first published in the Post.
- The election of an Ontario Liberal government that is keen on bold poverty reduction measures
- The support of an increasing number of health-related organizations, such as the Ontario Public Health Association and the Canadian Medical Association.
- The poverty reduction report solicited by the Saskatchewan government and its recommendation to support a basic income policy
- The election of a Liberal government in Prince Edward Island earlier this year that indicated its support for basic income during the campaign