Alberta is a prosperous province, but our poverty rate has hovered around 10 per cent for decades, costing the government over $2 billion each year. Add to this context the looming spectre of automation and growing uncertainty about our economic future and it’s easy to understand why the idea of basic income is resurfacing in public discourse.
Though lack of income is only one dimension of poverty — a reality that necessitates a comprehensive system of social services, supports and community-based programs — there is Canadian evidence that shows that income transfers are an effective poverty reduction tool.Read more
Alberta could reduce poverty and introduce a guaranteed basic income with virtually no new funding by simply tweaking how it issues tax credits, according to a new report.
"Converting just a few non-refundable tax credits into refundable ones can produce a guaranteed annual income of over $6,000 for a single-adult family and over $9,000 for a two-adult family, with no significant new funding required," the report from Wayne Simpson and Harvey Stevens at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy reads.Read more
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan says his party will launch a pilot project to study the implementation of basic income, provide funding to hire 2,000 new teachers, change the province's voting system and largely eliminate income taxes in favour of a sales tax.
"Alberta Liberals believe that better is possible," Khan said as he announced the full Liberal platform at the party's campaign headquarters Monday afternoon in Calgary. "I encourage all Albertans to read our policies because we have the best pro-growth fiscal strategies of any party in this election."Read more
If the root of poverty is money, there’s a Calgary group pushing to alleviate that constant worry.
Guaranteed income isn’t a new concept, but thanks to a grassroots group in Calgary, the movement is picking up steam in the West.
A group calling itself Basic Income Calgary (BIC) has started a municipal and provincial campaign aimed at encouraging governments to replace what we think of as “welfare” with a more progressive model it believes would lift up Canadians in poverty.Read more