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
Nearly half of the thousands of Ontarians collecting basic income reported severe food insecurity.
In the baseline survey, 48.4 per cent reported experiencing severe food insecurity. Survey comments made to the Basic Income Canada Network indicated that the higher quality food recipients were able to purchase while on the pilot improved their lives — sometimes dramatically.Read more
By Elaine Power
I’ve been studying the issue of food insecurity for over 20 years. Food insecurity refers to the state in which people can’t afford to buy healthy, culturally appropriate and personally acceptable food to feed themselves or their families.
It is a serious public health concern, affecting over 4 million Canadians including about 1.15 million children. It is clearly a symptom of poverty.
In low-income households, a lot of work (usually invisible) goes into managing the household budget. When it looks like there won’t be enough money for food, the person primarily responsible for food provisioning, usually a woman, intensifies the management process, first decreasing the quality of the food, substituting cheaper, more filling foods, to the detriment of fresh produce and dairy products.Read more