In the Hammer
With holes in Canada’s social safety net being exposed as businesses closed in March to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the appetite for a system overhaul has intensified.
Now, what was once considered a radical solution to growing financial disparities, has taken centre stage—receiving support from not only social service organizations but business leaders, as well.Read more
Several years ago, researchers in Kenya decided to study the effects of a universal basic income (UBI) trial on people’s well-being.
Some 6,000 recipients in a 12-year trial beginning around 2017 received 75 cents a day — not much, but enough, their research found, for people to be less food-insecure and more likely to start a business. Others received payments for just two years (that ended in December 2019), and still others received a lump sum payment.
In early 2020, the coronavirus hit. In response, governments like Kenya’s imposed harsh lockdowns that sought to prevent the virus’s spread, but that also had devastating impacts on the economy.Read more
A group of some 40,000 universal basic income (UBI) supporters are launching a petition and a proposal to promote Canada’s economic recovery.
UBI Works is promoting the UBI for Economic Recovery, a national basic income plan to provide all Canadian adults with $500 non-taxable per month while establishing a guaranteed monthly minimum income of $2,000 for single adults and $3,000 for couples. The amount would decrease by $0.50 for every dollar of employment income and one dollar for every dollar of other family income.Read more
Out of a party leadership race that seemed perpetually overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and protests for racial justice, Canada’s Conservatives elected as their leader a mild-mannered, former air force officer and lawyer.
Erin O’Toole, a cabinet minister in the Harper government, now has the tough job of convincing Canadians that he is markedly different than the two previous Conservative leaders. In his maiden speech as leader, O’Toole assured Canadians that he would lead a Conservative Party where anyone — regardless of race, sexual orientation or length of time in Canada — could feel welcome.
While that rhetoric is helpful when running for the leadership of a political party, over 95 percent of Canadians don’t join political parties and Conservatives would be better served to focus on delivering on Canadians’ priorities.
And with the potential of a fall election on the horizon, there has never been a better time for bold and courageous policies that would provide support to Canadians who are still struggling. These policies should be funded by raising taxes on those who have been unfairly avoiding it for decades.Read more
Ask youth what they would do with an extra $2,000 a month and the answers might surprise you.
Young people disproportionately struggle with mental health issues and undertake increasing student debts, all while facing a daunting post-pandemic-era job market at a time when many jobs are precarious, underpaid, or part of the gig economy.
In a recent webinar series held by the Ontario Council for International Cooperation’s Youth Policy-Makers Hub (OCIC’s YPH,) 92 per cent of respondents said they would support a guaranteed livable income (GLI) in Canada and most participants answered that $2,000 a month would give them better educational, health, and housing options.Read more
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