Literary Review of Canada
In May 2017 Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage at Harvard University and used his commencement address to call for something that even a few years earlier would have been regarded as radical, at least coming from a capitalist billionaire: Governments, he said, should start giving everyone a regular paycheque, no strings attached. “We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful,” Zuckerberg told his audience. “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”Read more
In Canadian policy circles, basic income has come to mean a stipend paid to families or individuals without the many conditions and rules that govern existing income assistance programs. The amount received is gradually reduced as income from other sources increases.
However, basic income is not just about welfare reform. A basic income is most valuable to people in the middle class and those hoping to join them. Here's why a Canadian basic income is inevitable.Read more
It was pure coincidence that both meetings happened on the same day.
Fourteen participants in Ontario's basic income pilot project met Aug. 8 at a business incubator in the south end of Thunder Bay after the Progressive Conservative government announced it would wind the program down early.
They had been receiving cheques from the province every month, as part of a research project to measure the effect of handing out larger amounts of money than social assistance normally provides, without many requirements. Anyone in Thunder Bay who lived on less than $34,000 individually or $48,000 with a partner had been eligible to apply.Read more
The legal action against the Ontario government for cancelling the basic income pilot project is continuing on track, according to Lindsay lawyer Mike Perry.
The legal action is proceeding on two fronts. The first is a request to the court to overturn the Minister’s decision to cancel the pilot project. Originally scheduled to be heard in October, the matter will now be heard in Ontario Superior Court (Divisional Court) in late January, 2019.Read more
Proponents of Ontario’s now cancelled basic income pilot project descended on the constituency office of Liberal MP and cabinet minister Patty Hajdu on Friday afternoon, hoping she’d help convince the federal government to pick up the slack.
They left somewhat disappointed.
Hajdu told the group social assistance is under the jurisdiction of the province, and there was little she could do to convince Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford to change his mind.Read more
Mike Puffer (The Lindsay Advocate)
There’s certainly been a large amount of attention paid to the Province’s decision to end the Basic Income Pilot program early next year, rather than seeing the plan through fully to its original three-year time period.
As one of three Ontario communities selected for the program, the City of Kawartha Lakes has hundreds of residents currently receiving the guaranteed income payments.
Recently, members of Community Care’s health care team met with two clients who are Basic Income recipients. We heard their stories of how the program was making a bit of a positive difference for them and their families. Their willingness to share their stories was appreciated.Read more
On the 8th and 9th of November 2018, a Conference intitled “Innovation, social investment and basic income” will be hosted in the Institute for Welfare State Research, located in Seoul, South Korea.
This two-day Conference will focus on welfare strategies, social investment politics and policies, as well as basic income. The Conference is International and will feature speakers such as Nick Pearce (IPR, University of Bath), Reijo Miettinen (University of Helsinki), Jurgen De Wispelaere (IPR, University of Bath) and Hansoo Choi (Korea Institute of Public Finance), among others.Read more
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling on the federal government to pick up the tab on Ontario's recently cancelled basic income pilot project.
"Strong government leadership is required to address the challenges of our changing economic landscape. That's why I'd like to take this opportunity today to call on the federal government to step in and fund the remainder of the basic income pilot project," said Singh during a speech to the Council of Canadian Innovators in Ottawa Tuesday.Read more
Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner, and Green Party of Canada Leader, Elizabeth May, sent the following letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Dear Prime Minister:
We are writing to ask the Government of Canada to step forward to complete the Basic Income pilot project in Ontario. We believe the data and information collected from the pilot project is in the national interest.
As you might be aware, the Government of Ontario recently decided to cancel the Basic Income pilot program that was testing a transformative approach to tackling poverty.
The project was set to run for three years, providing payments to 4,000 low-income people in communities including Hamilton, Brantford, Thunder Bay and Lindsay. Single participants received up to $16,989 a year while couples received up to $24,027.Read more
In navigating the world’s economy through the near-death experience of the 2008-2009 financial crisis the then U.S. Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner would occasionally point out to his economic team that, “plan beats no plan 100 per cent of the time.” This was to say that if you did not like what was being put forward, that is fine, but you had better come up with a better idea. Not having a plan was not an option. I believe this sentiment is necessary today with respect to Universal Basic Income or UBI.
As a society, we are on the cusp of the 4th Industrial Revolution. The primary feature of this revolution is the introduction of artificial intelligence(AI). AI has almost unfathomable potential and we had best tread carefully in terms of the ethics and governance of such a powerful capability. The debate is not whether the introduction of AI will cause major shifts in the job market – it will – but whether this disruption will propel us to a future of increasing numbers of new, satisfying jobs or a dystopian one in which large portions of the population have had their jobs replaced by robots and networks. In my view, this is one of those situations where the adage, “hope for the best but plan for the worst” is entirely appropriate. I am not arguing that we should destroy our economy or naively disincentivize people. The range of options are not limited to these simplistic positions.Read more