North Bay Nugget
Food insecurity has been identified as a public health issue in some parts of Northern Ontario for a few years now, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it worse.
The issue has prompted the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit to ask the prime minister to support the idea of creating a universal basic income for all Canadian families — enough that they can afford to buy groceries.
Kendra Patrick, a public health dietitian with the health unit, says food insecurity refers to a household that does not have enough money to buy healthy food.
During this COVID 19 Pandemic, Justin Trudeau should seize this moment and take an initiative to implement new socially progressive programs, like a universal basic income and a national pharmacare program. Our country needs a Franklin Delano Roosevelt “New Deal” Approach to some of our country’s socioeconomic ills! Out of the Great Depression (1929 – 1939) and the Second World War (1939 – 1945) came Social Security and Unemployment Insurance, and in Canada’s case, Family Allowance (or the “Baby Bonus”).
Many of our European allies implemented universal public medicare (including pharmacare) systems in their respective countries long before Canada did. Now, hard times call for desperate measures!
Some people are aware that I have been involved with the Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy consultations since it was first initiated by the former Danny Williams PC Government in 2005! When it comes to Poverty and our social safety net, it is a complicated issue.
Out of the poverty reduction strategy recommendations, there is pharmacare, dental care, child care, basic income, a living wage, housing, and medical transportation, etc.Read more
A basic income system would provide every individual in the country with a cash payment at regular intervals, without any requirement to work or qualify for it.
This payment would be given to every citizen regardless of their wealth, employment or personal status. A range of different figures have been suggested, but it would be enough to cover the basics of life and would serve as a replacement for all existing benefit payments.
There have long been debates about whether this would be a guaranteed safety net that would expand freedom of choice and cut bureaucracy in the welfare system, or a ruinously expensive incentive for people to do less work.
Up until now, in the UK at least, it has chiefly been chin-stroking fodder for think tank round-tables and discussion papers.Read more
The concept of universal basic income (UBI) is simple: provide a set amount of “basic income” for survival to every citizen regularly with no strings attached.
Supporters on the left believe that it will lift people out of poverty and increase the quality of life. On the right, supporters believe that UBI could reduce the burden on the state’s welfare system and maximize individual choices instead.
In recent years, UBI has attracted more considerable attention with increased concerns over growing economic inequality and the effect of automation upon the labor market.Read more
The Sarnia Observer
Sarnia’s mayor says the time has come for Canada to implement a guaranteed basic income.
The concept of a new and simplified income security program has gained traction during the pandemic, with the federal government’s Canada Emergency Relief Benefit, or CERB, coming close to a basic income measure.
Last week, Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling for both a municipal assistance program and a basic income plan.
A basic income top-up would eliminate the bureaucracy and provide stability for people living below the poverty line, he said.Read more
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