A recent report of the British Columbia Expert Panel on Basic Income prepared over two years by three economists, two from B.C. and one from Alberta, has given encouragement to long standing opponents of a basic income.
In some ways, however, the very nature of their sixty-five recommendations for program changes in income security and related programs in B.C. undercuts the anti-basic income orientation of the report itself.
The analysis and recommendations of the report do appear to have the authors bumping into themselves while coming around the corner.Read more
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
Annamie Paul, Green Party leader of Canada, Elizabeth May, former Green Party leader and MP, Sheila Regehr, chair of the Basic Income Canada Network, Paul Manly, Green Party MP, and Floyd Marinescu, executive director of UBI Works took part in a Facebook Live panel discussion today on basic income.
To watch the discussion click here.
Support for a basic income may be shifting from one end of the country to the other.
Four senators are the latest leaders to say they’re in favour of a guaranteed, livable basic income on Prince Edward Island, with Ottawa’s help.
A special all-party committee of the P.E.I. legislature urged the provincial government late last year to begin negotiating with Ottawa for money to test-drive a guaranteed basic income.
Three senators from P.E.I. — Sens. Diane Griffin, Brian Francis, and Mike Duffy, as well as Ontario Sen. Kim Pate — sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and P.E.I. Premier Dennis King last week calling not just for a pilot program, but a nationwide guaranteed basic income, starting on the island.Read more
On January 18, I participated in a webinar organized by the office of Senator Kim Pate, for politicians and stakeholders interested in a Basic Income for Canadians. Several well-known and highly-respected speakers took part, including former senators Hugh Segal and Art Eggleton, Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Graham Fox, CEO of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Professor Evelyn Forget, and the Chair of Basic Income Canada Network, Sheila Regehr.
Everyone endorsed the concept and discussed how it could be implemented, pointing out that it would help to “build back better” after the pandemic.Read more
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
The concept of a universal basic income in Canada has earned more attention over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). According to a new survey by the Angus Reid Institute, 59% of Canadians support proposals for universal basic income programs at $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 annual income.
The highest amount of support comes from Quebec (66%) and the Atlantic provinces (65%), while the lowest level of support comes from Alberta (42%), the only province with more support against a universal basic income program than for one. Both Liberal (78%) and NDP (84%) voters are overwhelmingly in favour of basic income. Conservative support for the program is roughly one in four, at 26%.Read more
All across Canada, community groups and coalitions like P.E.I.’s Working Group for a Livable Income have been advocating for Canada to implement a basic income guarantee.
Many, even from elsewhere in Canada, have watched the progress here in P.E.I. and advocated for a national launch here to build on P.E.I.’s extraordinary momentum!
Now, thanks to the work of the all-party special committee on poverty on P.E.I. and the legislative assembly of P.E.I., a credible, fully costed, fully considered model exists to make P.E.I. the launching point of a basic income guarantee for all of Canada.
P.E.I. first made history by endorsing guiding principles for a basic income guarantee. The special committee’s model for P.E.I. is based on these principles.
It is designed to be universal and unconditional to all adults having resided here for at least one year, ages 18 and above, including seniors.Read more
The P.E.I. Working Group for a Livable Income is excited to congratulate the legislative assembly of P.E.I. for endorsing the final report of the special committee on poverty on P.E.I., which recommends a basic income guarantee for P.E.I.
The report provides a fully costed, workable and achievable model for a basic income guarantee that could eliminate poverty in P.E.I. It was a groundbreaking day for P.E.I. and Canada when this important report was adopted, and the time to act on the report is now!
We write today to urge the P.E.I. government to begin immediately to negotiate with the federal government for the launch of a permanent basic income guarantee in P.E.I., as recommended in the report.
The Prince Edward Island Working Group for a Livable Income has been advocating since 2013 for P.E.I. to launch a provincewide program for a basic income guarantee: one that can be scaled up to include all of Canada.Read more
The Star - Sheila Regehr
The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit CERB put cash in people’s hands, quickly, when COVID-19 hit. It was a smart and remarkable achievement. It looked like the beginnings of a basic income — but it wasn’t quite. It left out people who needed it. It got complicated with conditions, changes, interactions with other emergency benefits, and with provincial and territorial regimes. It confused applicants and recipients as their circumstances changed.
Now, CERB repayment demands are causing hardship, and while amnesty is needed that’s only a temporary reprieve, for some. The pandemic’s viral and economic toll is still rising.Read more