Quebec man, 62, says basic income would have made life easier during hard financial times

In a life filled with ups and downs, including a long-term relationship split and a bankruptcy, Pierre Madden says that along the way a basic income would have helped him out a great deal and prevented unnecessary stress.

Now, trapped in a call centre position at age 62, making a few dollars more than minimum wage, he’s hanging on until retirement when his federal pension kicks in.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Pierre is an educated man, has a family, and is a trained lawyer. As often happens with many people’s lives, though, there were a few curve balls in store.

Early Years

Pierre grew up in middle class Montreal, Quebec, the city where he still resides.

His father and mother were not wealthy but he and his brother experienced a comfortable middle class life. Since his mother was often sick, Pierre was sent to boarding school. This was long before there was structured daycare, now one of the hallmarks of Quebec’s social policy landscape.

“She couldn’t’ take care of me. And my father was busy working in accounting as an office manager,” he says.

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