Submission to the 2021 Federal Pre-Budget Consultations -- Basic Income Canada Network recommendations
We welcome the opportunity to contribute to this budget. We are making income security proposals towards the goal of economic recovery for all.
It is a tragic reality that, despite lofty rhetoric, people are being left behind and pushed out of the economy. Their numbers are growing due to the financial strain of the pandemic combined with the cracks in Canada’s social protection systems that COVID-19 has exploited. People who thought they were middle-class are now facing hardship they never imagined. For people disadvantaged long before the pandemic hit, the situation continues to worsen. Income and wealth inequality are widening. Trauma is building. That is not the path to a better future.
All orders of government face mounting social and economic problems and costs if they don’t reverse these trends. Waiting is dangerous.
The federal CERB instinct was correct—financial crisis requires cash. Its design had flaws but they are solvable. The knowledge gained through programs and studies over the years can be used to design a simpler, unconditional basic income guarantee that is available to Canadians when and as they need it. It prevents financial challenges from becoming full-blown crises, enabling people to more readily transition to better situations in their health, education, family, work, and community life. It supports local economies, where income is spent and where businesses need customers to survive. It also acts as a stabilizer and stimulus for the larger economy.Read more
The Energy Mix
Sheila Regehr has been chair of the Basic Income Canada Network since 2014. She’s a retired federal public servant with years of experience working on income security, and past executive director of the National Council of Welfare. With the federal Speech from the Throne coming up today, she explains how a basic income builds up communities, reduces anxiety, and makes a whole host of problems easier to solve—including the climate crisis.
The Energy Mix: What’s the basic argument for a basic income?
Regehr: That’s the most difficult question to start with because it’s so all-encompassing. The very basic idea is that everyone is part of society and the economy. Everyone should be able to participate and benefit from it. In our modern world that takes money. It’s a matter of human rights and dignity, and it’s a common good, the idea of sharing resources.Read more
By Roderick Benns
After attending Basic Income congresses both nationally and internationally for about a decade now, the chair of the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) says the latest Winnipeg, Manitoba congress beats them all in at least one area – the diversity of people attending.
“In the 10 years I’ve been going I’ve never seen anything like this one,” says Sheila Regehr of the recent North American Congress, where about 150 people attended to talk about Basic Income.Read more