It's all about creating options for those without a source of income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kitchener city council has endorsed a motion, asking the Ontario government to pursue a partnership with their federal counterparts to establish a Universal Basic Income (UBI).
Ward 7 councillor Bil Ioannidis put the motion forward Monday, saying he wanted to get the conversation going, and wants a broader discussion on the topic.Read more
In a letter to the government, MPs from seven opposition parties have asked for the payments to help support those hit hardest by the crisis.
The letter warns furloughed staff will lose their jobs when the current scheme ends, and a universal basic income would ensure economic security for everyone.
It says: “The hard truth is when this lock-down ends, there may be another one in waiting.Read more
University of Manitoba News
A UM economist says that government assistance for people whose livelihood has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic shows that it may be time for universal basic income.
Dr. Evelyn Forget, who has long studied basic income as a means of reducing poverty, says that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), introduced by the Canadian government last month, proves that existing income security programs such as Employment Insurance (EI) are inadequate.
Dr. Forget is in community health sciences at UM and academic director of the Manitoba Research Data Centre. She is an adjunct scientist with the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and a research associate with Ongomiizwin – Research in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.Read more
Globe and Mail
When Ottawa unveiled emergency payments of $2,000 to individuals who lost work because of the coronavirus, the program looked to be a stepped-up version of the decades-old Employment Insurance program.
But as the government has moved to fill gaps in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the nature of the program is quickly evolving into something that resembles a universal basic income.
A universal basic income, or UBI, would set a minimum income that all Canadians would be eligible to receive, whether they are working, unemployed or unemployable.Read more
Echoing the recommendations of a 2013 report that suggests Nunavut should implement a basic income program, one Nunavut MLA is pressing the government to follow through on that idea.
In a written question tabled last fall, Arviat North-Whale Cove MLA John Main asked Family Services Minister Elisapee Sheutiapik to explain how the department has considered the concept of guaranteed basic income in Nunavut as part of its reform of the territory’s income assistance program.
Guaranteed basic income is a program that involves regular payments from the government to citizens that ensures a minimum income, regardless of employment status.Read more
Three-quarters of people who were employed before joining Ontario’s ill-fated basic income pilot project continued to work while receiving the no-strings-attached monthly stipend, according to a new study.
And more than one-third of those low-wage workers were able to move to higher paying and more secure jobs, according to the study by McMaster University researchers being released Wednesday.Read more
Raise the Hammer
Brian Russell had $40 left in his pocket when he was one of 4,000 people selected for Ontario's basic income pilot project. "Your life is better," he says. "I had better food and money to travel around the city. My life was more stable and secure."
For Joan Frame, basic income payments from the province meant she no longer had to borrow from friends to make it through the last few days of the month. Frame says she was always juggling bills and that basic income gave her back power over her life.
"I don't know if you've ever been in a situation where you need to ask for money, but it is impossibly difficult," she says. "It was the worst part about being on any kind of assistance for me."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
When Canadians head to the polls on October 21, they should ask themselves how Canada’s political parties will tackle inequality.
Over the past two decades, the richest Canadians have seen their share of income go up and up. The top one per cent absorbed almost a third of all income growth between 1997 and 2007, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Meanwhile, one in seven people in Canada lives in poverty — which hurts everyone, because poverty is expensive. In 2008, for instance, the cost of failing to address poverty in Ontario – including everything from health care and criminal justice system costs to lost tax revenue – was estimated to be 10 to 16 per cent of the province’s budget. That’s around $2,000 to $3,000 per household per year.Read more
The nature of work has changed dramatically since the 1950s.
In that glorious post-war period, work was primarily a man's purview, while women did so-called "invisible" work - taking care of children, maintaining the home and cooking.
It wasn't unusual for a man to retire 40 years laterfrom the same employer he started with. That employer picked up the worker's health and life insurance, and some employers even paid school tuition for their workers' children. There was a sense of continuity.Read more