For many years, basic income was seen to be a niche political issue with sparse support among major political figures.
However, the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) and advocates in other countries have been tireless in its pursuit.
With reported successes in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot and growth of electoral support across North America galvanized by leaders like Andrew Yang, support has expanded.
In Canada, several senators and business leaders have aligned themselves behind the concept.Read more
COVID-19 has prompted the federal government to support individuals through the Canada Economic Emergency Benefit (CERB).
Basic income has become the Swiss Army knife of social policy.
Beyond offering sufficient income to manage the daily expenses of living, advocates believe it will improve health and psychological outcomes, enhance distributive justice, mitigate the employment effects of automation, spur gender equality, create true freedom, improve the esthetics of existence and transform the relationship between people and work.Read more
Canada is a country with no shortage of government programs aimed at assisting individuals and families in need.
Decade after decade during the 20th century Canada built the architecture of a welfare state to eradicate social and political injustices.
Bits and pieces of policy at the federal and provincial level now make up a fortress of legislation to address the basic needs of individuals and groups.
For example, at the federal level in 1942 Unemployment Insurance would become Employment Insurance, followed by Family Allowance Act 1944, Old Age Security 1951, 1954 Disabled Persons Act, 1956 Hospital Insurance, Old Age Security Act, 1965, 1966, Canada Assistance Plan (grants to provinces), 1967 Guaranteed Income Supplement, 1979 Child Tax Credit.Read more
The Great Depression of the 1930s gave us the Bank of Canada, Employment Insurance (EI) and federal equalization payments. The Great Recession of 2008 produced a revolution in monetary policy and a legacy of concern about household debt.
Will the Great Lockdown of 2020 bequeath us guaranteed universal income? Among the many unprecedented aspects of the global coronavirus pandemic is the sudden appearance of a widely available handout from Ottawa. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides $500 per week to anyone who’s out of work because of the virus, or the economic shutdown it precipitated.Read more
Many of the financial measures being rolled out by governments to help people weather the COVID-19 storm would be unnecessary if Canada had a basic income policy, say basic income advocates.
“At this point, it would be so good if we could have it in the country,” said Sr. Pauline Lally of the Sisters of Providence in Kingston, Ont. “We really need this basic income. I really, really believe that…. It would be one way to end poverty in Canada.”
Lally is a supporter of the Ontario Basic Income Network and a member of Living Wage Kingston. She points to retired Senator Hugh Segal’s recent book, Bootstraps Need Boots: One Tory’s Lonely Fight to End Poverty in Canada, as a guide to how basic income would transform the country.Read more
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has just announced a basic income for Canadians this past week. Well, he didn’t call it that, and yet that’s exactly what happened – at least temporarily.
A basic income ensures everyone an income sufficient to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of one’s work status.
Basic income, in Canada, would look similar to the Canada Child Benefit.
That is, as wages increase the benefit declines, but it declines progressively – not dollar for dollar.Read more
During the Great Recession a decade ago, a meme went around echoing the words of renowned economist Milton Friedman. He said that when a crisis hits, the response depends on the ideas lying around.
In all, it amounts to $27 billion in direct stimulus spending, plus $55 billion in tax deferrals meant to give households and businesses breathing room until the fall, for a total cost of $82 billion.Read more
A new report, from researchers at McMaster University and Ryerson University, has surveyed over 200 participants from a prematurely cancelled basic income experiment that took place in Southern Ontario between 2017 and 2019.
The report suggests participants saw improvements in mental health, housing stability and social relationships, along with less frequent visits to hospitals and doctors that lowered the impact on general health services.Read more
After hundreds of years, basic income seems to be finally catching on.
The general idea — that the government should give every citizen a regular infusion of free money with no strings attached — has been around since the 16th century. But it’s experienced a remarkable resurgence over the past few years, moving from the fringes into the mainstream.
Advocates ranging from tech billionaire Mark Zuckerberg to libertarian economist Milton Friedman have endorsed it. Andrew Yang popularized it on the Democratic debate stage. And around the world, countries are running pilot programs to test it.Read more
Basic Income Earth Network
A new report from the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) details how Canada could improve income security for everyone, with three options for a basic income for adults, while maintaining current child benefits for those under 18.
“We’ve seen interest in basic income grow far beyond theoretical debates. BICN is now frequently asked what it would look like in Canada,” said Chandra Pasma, a member of the BICN Advisory Council and co-author of the report.
“Our report clearly shows there are multiple options Canadian governments could use to implement a successful basic income program.”Read more