On January 28, the B.C. panel on basic income released its 500-page report with 65 recommendations; it does not support basic income as a central pillar of its plan.
The Basic Income Canada Network is listed among organizations that the B.C. panel consulted. We shared our expertise and the experiences of people who had been in the Ontario pilot. We provided them with our own detailed analysis and modelling in Basic Income: Some Policy Options for Canada.
Our principles make it clear that we have never claimed basic income to be a panacea, that it works in synergy with services and labour legislation. We stress that everyone should be able to meet basic needs and live with dignity. None of this is reflected in their report.Read more
OTTAWA, FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2021—The report of the BC Expert Panel on Basic Income recommends much needed steps toward basic income for Canadians living in poverty but designs them to provide too little and too late.
The report rightly identifies that single, working-aged adults, including single parents, are most likely to be marginalized and left behind due to gaps in federal supports and the indignities and inadequacies of provincial and territorial social assistance and disability support programs. Yet it recommends continuing to slowly tinker with this patchwork of programs that we know, by design, will leave people in need still falling through the cracks.
The report highlights that guaranteed livable basic income is not a stand-alone solution. Certainly, it must work alongside robust social programs and policies to ensure, among other necessities, effective labour standards, accessible and affordable housing, and comprehensive healthcare, education and childcare. This should not devalue the merits of guaranteed livable basic income or any other component of a strong social, health and economic safety net that will create the supportive and mutually beneficial communities outlined by the report.
It appears to be the end of the road for a universal basic income in British Columbia.
A panel appointed by the provincial government in 2018 to examine the idea of a basic income reported today that it would not be the most effective way to improve people’s lives.
Instead, the spirit of basic income should underlie “co-ordinated and substantial” reform of the province’s existing social programs, according to the panel.
Targeted basic incomes should replace some social supports like disability and income assistance, as well as support youth leaving care and women fleeing violence, the report concluded.Read more
A B.C. Green Party would move towards a basic income program, make the province carbon neutral by 2045, and spend more than $10 billion over the next three years on a host of environmental and social election promises.
Green Leader Sonia Furstenau made the promises as part of the party's platform, unveiled Wednesday afternoon, saying it would target people who need help now by building a stronger, more equitable and sustainable province.
"We cannot afford to go back to our old patchwork of social supports that were not meeting the needs of people," said Furstenau.Read more
The cancellation of Ontario’s basic income pilot project was a major disappointment for the low-income participants who were counting on three years of secure income and for those who were counting on the research data evaluating the program’s success.
It was a bold experiment, where people with low incomes in five communities received monthly payments of $1,416 as individuals or $2,000 as couples. The researchers would measure whether those funds would improve the recipients’ overall health and mental wellness, as well as housing stability, education and training, employment and use of healthcare services.Read more