The Star - Sheila Regehr
The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit CERB put cash in people’s hands, quickly, when COVID-19 hit. It was a smart and remarkable achievement. It looked like the beginnings of a basic income — but it wasn’t quite. It left out people who needed it. It got complicated with conditions, changes, interactions with other emergency benefits, and with provincial and territorial regimes. It confused applicants and recipients as their circumstances changed.
Now, CERB repayment demands are causing hardship, and while amnesty is needed that’s only a temporary reprieve, for some. The pandemic’s viral and economic toll is still rising.Read more
A basic income program could have saved lives and reduced COVID-19 transmission when the pandemic struck last spring, says one of the country’s leading experts.
And basic income, as both a health and a poverty reduction policy, could still help people weather the second wave and those to come, said Evelyn Forget.
“When government decided that it was a public health emergency response and they closed down the economy in March,” said Forget in an interview, “they knew immediately that the social programs wouldn’t work, and that we had to put emergency supports in place if we were going to keep people home.”Read more
At the beginning of December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he could see no path forward for a guaranteed basic income right now. For the sake of Canadians everywhere, he should spend some more time looking.
Many working Canadians are struggling in the current labour market. Globalization, rapid technological change and the gig economy have changed the nature of the labour market.
People no longer spend the majority of their career working for one company; many jobs limit the number of hours an employee can work to avoid providing them with benefits; and jobs in the gig economy (for example, Uber drivers, food delivery drivers, renting out your home via Airbnb, and selling services or products through the internet) carry no benefits at all.Read more
The debate over a basic income has come up most recently due to the economic impacts of the pandemic, leaving many wondering if the idea of establishing a basic income in Canada could be the answer to some widespread problems.
Basic income is defined as a minimum amount of money an individual can live on, and the idea of implementing it in Canada has been in the works for a long time.Read more
A Canada-wide basic income could increase the size of the economy by tens of billions of dollars a year and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, a new research paper says.
In a report issued Wednesday, the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA) looked at two potential models of a basic income, and found that both of them would raise about 2.3 million families above the federal poverty line.
Both models studied would result in larger economies and more jobs in the long run, though how much larger, and how many more jobs, depends on how generous the program is, and whether or not it’s funded by debt spending, the study found.Read more
Federal New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh is the first federal party leader to support calls for implementing a basic income guarantee pilot program in P.E.I.
In an interview with The Guardian on Monday, Singh said his party campaigned on implementing a national basic income pilot project and said he would support such a pilot on P.E.I.
Singh’s statements on the subject followed a report by all-party special standing committee on poverty, which called for implementing a full basic income guarantee (BIG) on P.E.I.
"We campaigned on a pilot project, so we absolutely support a pilot project," Singh said. "P.E.I.'s legislature put forward that as an idea, and they asked for federal funding to support this. The federal government has been unresponsive."Read more
P.E.I. Minister of Social Development and Housing Ernie Hudson is preparing another letter — his third in the past 18 months — asking the federal government to contribute funding for a basic income pilot program here.
This latest request comes on the heels of a report from the provincial legislature recommending the province ask Ottawa to contribute unspecified funding to support a $270-million-a-year program to provide a guaranteed annual income of $18,260 to more than 50,000 Islanders.
The report, authored by MLAs from all three parties that have members in the legislature, suggests the program could function as a national pilot.
But so far, Hudson's letters haven't prompted any written response from the ministerial level — just a note from a federal staffer following the second letter saying Hudson's message had been received.Read more
Senator Kim Pate addressed the Senate during Second Reading debate on Appropriation Bill No. 5 - 2020-21.
She addresses the fact that yet again, this Bill leaves Canada's most vulnerable behind after being left out of CERB.
The price of food is expected to climb dramatically in 2021 at a time when many Canadians can barely afford to feed their families, following the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet to kick off the “season of giving,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted a pre-Thanksgiving video to Twitter asking Canadians to pick up “an extra item or two for the local food bank and help a family in need.”
Trudeau collected non-perishables at a Metro supermarket, emptied his purchases into a donation bin and assured us that buying food from the grocery retail oligopoly to support local food banks is the Canadian way.Read more
A universal basic income would not only lift more than 3.2 million Canadians out of poverty, it would also create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, grow the economy by tens of billions of dollars and eventually pay for itself with increased tax revenues.
That’s according to a new report by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA), which was commissioned by basic income advocacy group UBI Works to look at the potential economic impacts of Canada implementing two different kinds of basic income programs.
“I think the biggest message coming out of this (report) is that a basic income program can be designed in a sustainable way,” said Paul Smetanin, CANCEA president and one of the report’s authors. “It can be thought of as an investment as opposed to a cost.”Read more