The Quebec government has taken a "positive first step" toward a universal basic income with its commitment to provide a set amount of money to those unable to work, says a proponent of the idea.
"I think it's a move in the right direction," said Jonathan Brun, co-founder of Revenu de base Québec.
It also, Brun said, "puts the terminology square and centre within government policy."
The new measure is part of a larger $3-billion anti-poverty planannounced Sunday. An estimated 84,000 Quebecers would qualify for the minimum income, largely those with physical and intellectual disabilities.Read more
Quebecers who have a severely limited capacity to work will gradually be able to access a guaranteed minimum income beginning next year, Premier Philippe Couillard's government announced Sunday.
The measure is part of a $3-billion action plan to fight poverty and promote "economic inclusion," but falls short of offering a basic income for all Quebecers, a demand of many anti-poverty groups.Read more
By Pierre Madden
Basic Income Earth Network
On November 12 and 13 I attended a congress of the Liberal Party of Quebec, which is currently in power in the province.
The Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, François Blais, confirmed that a joint working group, with his colleague in Finance, will issue a preliminary report on Basic Income in the Spring. Our neighbouring province of Ontario (which, together with Quebec accounts for 62 percent of the population of Canada) was just released a working paper on a pilot project to begin in April 2017. Quebec does not seem to be leaning towards a pilot project.
In his talk, Minister Blais placed much emphasis on the principles underlying the development of the government’s project:
Ironically, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard may have finally found a way to get his name in the history books with his decision last week to switch milquetoast education minister François Blais to the Employment and Social Solidarity portfolio.
Blais, who was singularly unimpressive and maladroit in education, was given the mandate of piloting Quebec towards becoming one of the first guaranteed minimum income states in the world. But that’s a subject that Blais has mastered, as the author of Un revenu garanti pour tous, a 2001 tome that explores exactly how such a system might work.Read more