Letter to Editor
During this COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should seize this moment and take an initiative to implement new socially progressive programs, like a universal basic income and a national pharmacare program.
Our country needs a Franklin Delano Roosevelt New Deal approach to some of our country's socioeconomic ills.
Out of the Great Depression (1929-39) and the Second World War (1939-45) came social security and unemployment insurance, and in Canada's case, family allowance (or the baby bonus).
Many of our European allies implemented universal public medicare (including pharmacare) systems in their respective countries long before Canada did. Now, hard times call for desperate measures.Read more
A group of Canadian artists, writers, technicians and performers is calling on Ottawa to guarantee a basic income for anyone in need.
Novelist and screenwriter Emma Donoghue, poet George Elliott Clarke and opera singer Adrianne Pieczonka are listed among those supporting a call to "provide financial security to meet people's basic needs, regardless of their work status."
The concept would involve the government making regular payments to citizens to meet their basic needs.Read more
Jamie Swift has been arguing for the introduction of a basic income for years.
But with the previously unseen levels of economic downturn initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the movement toward basic income has earned increasing traction in recent months.
Swift, a local writer and member of the Kingston Action Group for a basic income guarantee, was one of four people who co-ordinated a new report by the Ontario Basic Income Network that says basic income will be crucial to the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic.
“The idea of basic income has indeed gone viral,” Swift said.Read more
Advocates for a universal basic income say they're hopeful the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program, introduced to help unemployed and underemployed Canadians through the pandemic, will pave the way toward a more equitable system for all.
Turning the CERB into a universal basic income is the logical progression for the program, according to Elaine Power, a Queen's University researcher and member of the Basic Income Canada Network in Kingston, Ont.
"There's more and more pressure on the government, I would say, to extend the CERB. I think the basic income would be a logical extension of CERB, and it's a more rational plan," Power told Ottawa Morning on Thursday.Read more
Many Canadians have lost jobs but have been saved from financial ruin during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, some are hoping the government keeps that type of social assistance around.Read more
The Castlegar Source
COVID-19 has obviously changed our lives in the short term, and now there is a growing consensus that the pandemic will also bring more long-lasting changes to our society—how we value workers, how we treat our seniors, how we house the homeless, how we protect the environment, and more.
One topic that is surfacing more and more often is the idea of a basic income. One of the first things we learned when the pandemic began was that Employment Insurance was completely inadequate to protect workers from lost income. Sixty percent of workers do not even qualify for EI.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
Globe and Mail
Last month, at remarkable speed, national politicians from all parties set aside their usual partisan dynamics to introduce the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in response to the coronavirus-generated economic crisis. The federal government, Parliament and officials involved deserve great credit, and while the CERB currently does not provide benefits to all Canadians, the program is still evolving.
COVID-19 has forced federal and provincial governments to see the limitations of our current income-security framework. Employment insurance (EI) has been revealed as a creaky relic of a bygone economy.Read more