SURREY, B.C. — A panel of experts is looking at whether British Columbia could provide a basic income or if the federal government would have to initiate it, says the minister responsible for the province's poverty reduction plan.
Shane Simpson said Monday the aim of the strategy is to cut the overall poverty rate by 25 per cent and child poverty by 50 per cent within five years.Read more
As part of what it says is an effort to “reduce poverty and prepare for the emerging economy,” the BC government announced today that it has appointed a team to lead a “BC-focused” exploration of basic income.
Today’s announcement follows one by the government earlier this year, that it was planning to provide $4 million over two years to “test the feasibility” of a basic income program in BC.
“The province will look at whether a basic income is an effective way to improve income security, reduce poverty, and address the impact of technological change,” the plan said.Read more
When Jenna van Draanen first became involved with the Basic Income Canada Network seven years ago, she found herself constantly having to explain the group’s purpose to people she met.
Now basic income — a policy idea that encompasses a range of policy options aimed at giving people cash entitlements from the government — is creeping into the mainstream, and the BC government has committed $4 million to explore its feasibility here.
“Now people on the bus behind me will be talking about it,” the University of British Columbia postdoctoral fellow said Tuesday. “It’s been incredible to see the change in the basic income movement in that time.”
Kamloops This Week
The B.C. Liberal government will have its eye on Ontario in coming months, watching to see if the province moves forward with a recommendation to introduce a guaranteed income.
Kamloops-South Thompson MLA and Transportation Minister Todd Stone said both Ontario and Ottawa are looking at the idea, noting Victoria will be “watching very closely what they do.”
The concept received another boost this week with the annual report from Food Banks Canada, which not only proposed creation of a guaranteed income, but suggested a timeline for steps to be taken that would see the goal fulfilled.Read more