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
The P.E.I. Legislature's special committee on poverty heard testimony Wednesday on whether it is feasible to create a basic income guarantee for Prince Edward Islanders.
The idea behind a basic income guarantee is to make sure everyone has enough money to live on. Rather than calculating assistance based on ability to work or find a job, people would be guaranteed a certain income under any circumstances.
The committee is working on how the province could afford such a system.Read more
The PEI Working Group for a Livable Income, established in 2003, is receiving support from across Canada for its work toward establishing Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) in PEI. The Working Group had developed its campaign in 2013 and called it C-BIG PEI (https://cbigpei.wixsite.com/c-big-pei)
In late November a national initiative group on BIG was formed, made up of promoters representing nine provinces and one territory. The Kingston and Area Group for BIG were the original motivators, having previously identified PEI as an ideal place to start a Basic Income program. The understanding is that it would be a permanent, fully-funded, federal-provincial program. The promoters from across the country see the advantage of having BIG established in a complete provincial jurisdiction.The size of the PEI provides minimal complications.Read more
Karl Widerquist - Basic Income Earth Network
Forty years ago today—February 7, 1980—was a small milestone for the Universal Basic Income (UBI) movement: Milton and Rose Friedman dedicated an episode of their television show to a form of basic income guarantee called the Negative Income Tax. This episode might have been the last gasp of the UBI movement’s second wave, which came very close to the centers of power in the United States and Canada in the 1960s and early 70s but had been declining for nearly a decade.
Although Friedman brought his fame and Nobel-Laureate credibility to UBI and related policies, that broadcast did little to stop the decline in UBI’s popularity. It gradually vanished from mainstream politics in the United States and in most countries. It remained an idea for academics, minor parties, fringe activists for decades, only to emerge—seemingly out of nowhere—as a growing worldwide movement over the last 10 years.Read more
If it weren't for the cats sometimes, I don't know if I'd bother rising to face the darkness of another day in this so-called happy new year. Apparently the days are getting longer but I'm not feeling it.
I'm usually more like the people in Newfoundland, recently extolled for their seemingly collective reply to the blizzard of blizzards, "Let's make beer fridges out of snow banks!"Read more
We are moved into an era where we are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society,” Martin Luther King, Jr. said in an address in May of 1967. In the subsequent year — the last of his life — King began work on what he called the “Poor People’s Campaign,” a large-scale effort to raise the standard of living for the nation’s poor.
The initiative, organized by King in cooperation with the Southern Christian Leadership, served as an indictment of the federal War on Poverty, which had been going on for three years by then but had yet to produce many demonstrable gains.Read more
Thunder Bay Newswatch
Ruth Westcott says Ontario’s now-cancelled basic income pilot project changed her life.
It’s why she’s helping to lead a grassroots effort to ensure the program is available not only in Ontario again, but across the country.
Lifting people out of poverty must become a national priority, she said, speaking at city hall on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.Read more
Everything in Ruth Westcott’s life changed for the better when she became part of Ontario’s basic income pilot project.
The Thunder Bay woman had been on social assistance for nearly 30 years, but once she came out of the now-cancelled pilot project, her health improved dramatically and she became well enough to work.
“Just like everyone else I know on social assistance, I was getting sicker and sicker and more and more disabled the deeper and deeper my poverty was getting,” she said.Read more
The Lindsay Advocate
As a federal election draws nearer the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) is urging all federal candidates to consider a basic income as a game-changing solution to income insecurity.
The letter to all federal candidates begins by tackling the issue of financial insecurity head-on.
“As the 2019 federal election approaches, many issues will be debated. A great many of them are linked to income insecurity, which manifests itself in the form of costly symptoms, like anxiety, illness and societal unrest. If the underlying problem is about income, however, then the solution must be, too – or it will not get better.”Read more
A year after Doug Ford broke his first election promise by axing the province’s basic income pilot project, the future remains uncertain for Ontarians struggling to make ends meet.
The three-year, $150-million experiment was studying whether unconditional cash payments are a better way to support vulnerable workers and improve health and education outcomes for people living in poverty, including those on social assistance.
With a sample size of 4,000 adults in three test sites — Hamilton-Brant, Thunder Bay and Lindsay — and another 2,000 acting as a control group, it was one of the largest and well-designed studies of its kind.Read more