By Toni Pickard
An article recently published in the UK's Guardian newspaper, entitled ‘The basic income is a dangerous idea that gives the state power to control every penny that citizens spend’ (May 15, 2106) is based on a number of misconceptions about how a properly designed basic income guarantee would work.
First, in Ontario, Canada, as an example, right now the state does in fact dictate how the benefits paid out through Provincial welfare systems are spent. In some provinces, the inadequate amount allotted for rent is paid directly to landlords rather than to the recipient, thereby enforcing state control. Basic income, in contrast, is meant to end exactly that kind of micromanagement of people's lives. It removes all state control, distributing the income without conditions (apart from some residency requirement) and regardless of work status. Autonomy and dignity via freedom from state oversight are essential aspects of basic income design.Read more
By Hardeep Matharu, The Independent
A charity is aiming to provide thousands of Kenyans with a basic income for at least the next decade in a bid to investigate how a fundamental level of economic freedom could change people’s lives.
GiveDirectly, an organisation that was set up to transfer cash payments to those in poverty in Kenya and neighbouring Uganda, has said it now wants to structure its donations in such a way that would guarantee at least 6,000 Kenyans “an ongoing income, high enough to meet their basic needs – a universal basis income or basic income guarantee”.Read more
The North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress 2016 is rapidly approaching. It will take place in Winnipeg, Canada at the University of Manitoba on May 12 – 15.
The detailed program is now available here.
REMINDER: early bird registration rates are available only until April 20.
By Steve Silva -- Global News
The adoption of a guaranteed basic income continues to grow support and get calls for consideration in Halifax, among other communities in Canada.
He spoke at a conference, titled “Basic Income Guarantee: The Time is Right”, at Halifax Central Library.Read more
By Sara Mojtehedzadeh
The Toronto Star
There’s no easy way to summarize what 26-year-old Joan Lillian Wilson does for a living, other than to say it involves a lot of slashes: graphic designer/photographer/activist. Part-time/contract/volunteer. No union/benefits/pension.
Sound familiar? Then you, too, might be a part of the city’s invisible workforce. It’s composed of independent contractors, part-time employees, self-employed entrepreneurs, and creative types — a hitherto disparate group that Toronto activists are now seeking to unite.
By Alan Gummo
The ‘Witches of Salem’ refers to a group of people who were believed to be witches, that is, possessed by the Devil, in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1690s.
The witch stereotype became very popular and demanded a public policy response; it drove the establishment of a specialized tribunal to deal with it. Some twenty people were put to death because of it. It has since come to symbolize injustice. I could mention other policies based on other stereotypes, but there’s no need to belabour the point by dwelling on other disasters.Read more
By Solomon Israel
In Ottawa, a federal MP is pushing for government research on the subject. Ontario's provincial budget announced a pilot program to try it out. In Quebec, a cabinet minister has been assigned to study the topic.
The mayors of Calgary and Edmonton are both on board. And the Manitoba Liberals are promising their own trial if they win the April 19 provincial election.
Basic income is capturing political imaginations in Canada.Read more
By Laura Anderson and Danielle Martin
The so-called basic income guarantee is having a moment.
Hot on the heels of Quebec’s plan to explore the policy, it was announced that Ontario’s provincial budget included funds for a basic income pilot project. And on that very day, Senator Art Eggleton tabled a motion calling on the Senate of Canada to encourage the federal government to do the same.
By Bill Curry
Ottawa is facing new pressure to act on a basic-income guarantee after the Ontario government announced it will test the idea.
Thursday’s Ontario budget said the province will conduct a basic-income pilot to study whether providing people with a guaranteed minimum amount of income would be a more efficient and effective way to deliver social support. The project will test claims by those who say it would help the working poor and lead to savings in health care and administration.Read more
By Roderick Benns
After a groundswell of support from mayors across the province, including pressure from health units and organizations of all social policy stripes, Ontario will proceed with a basic income guarantee pilot project.
The location of the pilot has not yet been announced but the recent provincial budget document makes clear that the government pledges to “work with communities, researchers and other stakeholders in 2016 to determine how best to design and implement a Basic Income pilot.”Read more