By Roderick Benns
One of the key organizers for the upcoming North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress, says it’s time to go from discussing a “good idea” to figuring out how to make it a reality.
Dr. James Mulvale, Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba and a basic income scholar and advocate, says conference participants intend to go beyond discussing Basic Income as a somewhat vague understanding “to mapping out how to make it a reality through cooperation among various levels of governments and civil society organizations.”Read more
The recent announcement that the provincial government will fund a basic income pilot project had Windsor’s politicians clamouring to make the case that our city, struggling with chronically high unemployment and persistent poverty, was the perfect proving ground for a seemingly radical approach to public spending.
While pushing for the pilot project was an opportunity any elected leader would take, it’s perhaps a signal that their often-touted dedication to creating jobs and reducing unemployment is at odds with the trends of a changing world.Read more
Canada is seeing increased public and government support for a guaranteed minimum income, with a pilot-project set for 2017.
As automation, digitization, and globalization alter labour market dynamics, calls are increasing for governments to augment their poverty strategies. One such proposal is the introduction of a guaranteed minimum income in order to provide for essentials and reduce poverty. Canada is planning a pilot project in Ontario to study the potential benefits of a guaranteed minimum income scheme.
2016 marks turning point for guaranteed minimum income in Canada
The provincial budget released by Ontario’s Liberal government in March includes a plan to launch a guaranteed minimum income pilot project.Read more
By Roderick Benns
NDP Winnipeg MP Dan Blaikie says he is proud of his party’s recent support of the principle of basic income and says now the work beings to actually define what this means.
Blaikie – considered to be one of the most promising new MPs in Parliament – says he has “long been interested in the idea.”
He points out that the recent resolution in support of basic income at the party’s Edmonton convention was to affirm the party’s support for the concept, study it further, and to support a pilot project.Read more
By Roderick Benns
The chair of the Basic Income Canada Network, Sheila Regehr, will be speaking alongside other distinguished panelists at a community forum on Universal Basic Income in Toronto in June.
In addition to Regehr, MP Adam Vaughn (who also serves as a parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) will speak, as will Josephine Grey, director of Low Income Families Together (LIFT).
John Clarke, organizer of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty is also a panelist. The panel discussion will be moderated by Jacquie Chic from Ryerson University.
She is also a board member of Kensington-Bellwoods Community Legal Services (KBCLS) who are sponsoring the discussion.Read more
By Aaron Broverman -- Yahoo Finance
When the Ontario Government included a paragraph in the 2016 budget discussing plans for a pilot program testing universal basic income, those on welfare and disability income support probably took notice.
Currently, if you’re collecting monthly Ontario Works payments – the province’s version of welfare – you receive a maximum between $681 per month as a single person and $1,408 as part of a couple with two children. The maximum monthly cheque for those on the Ontario Disability Support Program [ODSP] is a bit higher, between $1,110 for a single person and $2,025 for a couple with two children. Neither payment is anywhere near the average cost of living in Ontario. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which sets the living wage for the province ($18.52 per hour, per person), puts average expenses for a family of four in Toronto at $65,850.55 a year. The ODSP payment at its maximum would pay out $24,300 a year.Read more
By Andrew Flowers for FiveThirtyEight
Daniel Straub remembers the night he got hooked on basic income. He had invited Götz Werner, a billionaire owner of a German drugstore chain, to give an independent talk in Zurich, where Straub was working as a project manager for a think tank. He had read an article about the radical proposal to unconditionally guarantee citizens an income and spent a few years casually researching the idea. Straub had heard Werner was a good speaker on the topic, and that night in 2009 he was indeed excellent at connecting with the audience, a sold-out house of 200. “It was a very intense evening; people were paying attention,” Straub recalled.Read more
By Hardeep Matharu, The Independent
A charity is aiming to provide thousands of Kenyans with a basic income for at least the next decade in a bid to investigate how a fundamental level of economic freedom could change people’s lives.
GiveDirectly, an organisation that was set up to transfer cash payments to those in poverty in Kenya and neighbouring Uganda, has said it now wants to structure its donations in such a way that would guarantee at least 6,000 Kenyans “an ongoing income, high enough to meet their basic needs – a universal basis income or basic income guarantee”.Read more
Roderick Benns recently interviewed Zachary Beaudoin, an entrepreneur living in Edmonton Alberta. He works closely with technology and believes the current economic system is unfit to deal with the shocks that will be created by the coming technological advances.
Benns: From your perspective as an entrepreneur, why is the concept of a basic income guarantee useful to society?
Beaudoin: First I want to explain the benefit of a basic income guarantee that I perceive as a citizen. I believe that a society as a whole benefits from having economic abundance for all. People would spend more time on education, learning, and leisure, become more politically involved and even pursue more fulfilling employment opportunities. The result would be a healthy, engaged, and progressive society with less crime and less suffering.Read more
By Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press
In the mid- to late 1970s, every single person in one rural Manitoba city received $1,255 a year — roughly $7,500 in today’s dollars.
The amount increased depending on the number of people living in each household, maxing out at $3,969, or nearly $23,500 in 2016 currency, for a family of five or more.
The people in the Dauphin, Man., experiment didn’t have to work to receive this stipend. If they did, their benefit dropped 50 cents for every dollar they received.
The residents of Dauphin just had to exist to receive their full guaranteed annual income.Read more