Income is a key factor that affects our health and well-being.
Low income – or poverty – can lead to many problems. When people do not have enough income to pay for basic necessities such as food, housing and other goods and services, they are more likely to have health problems and die younger than people with higher incomes. In Northumberland County, we see how poverty takes a human and social toll that hurts the community and leads to higher health care costs.
The old ways of reducing poverty do not work, and new approach is needed to fix the problem. Thankfully, the Ontario government has taken a major step forward with the announcement of a Basic Income Guarantee pilot project (www.ontario.ca/basicincome) starting later this year in Hamilton/Brantford, Thunder Bay and Lindsay.Read more
A Canadian entrepreneur who grew up in Oshawa and found success in New York is pushing Canada’s economic development ministers to adopt basic income.
Mike Schmidt is the founder of Dovetale.com, a content and audience intelligence platform used by publishers and brands like Buzzfeed, L'Oreal and others. Prior, he founded Listn, a mobile music startup based in Los Angeles California before its multimillion dollar acquisition by Robert Sillerman’s SFX Entertainment. He also serves as a member of the Canadian Leadership Committee for the G20 YEA.Read more
Across Canada, and around the world, the idea of giving residents unconditional monthly payments — also known as a guaranteed annual income or guaranteed minimum income — to cover basic living costs has been hotly debated by people on all sides of the political aisle.Read more
There was a thick overlay of snow on the ground the day 7-year-old Sebastian Borjas and his family landed in Canada in 2005, tired from their long journey from Honduras. The previous night’s spring snowstorm was perhaps a harbinger of the challenges that were to come.
They came for a better life, the dream of most every immigrant family to Canada. In Honduras they had grown weary of the political instability, kindled by intrusive American foreign policy, with a backdrop of gang violence.Read more
Miles Krauter and Carter Vance
From Finland to Kenya to Ontario, it seems that everyone interested in social policy is talking up basic income. It’s not a new idea, having been theorized since at least Thomas Paine’s musings on a “citizen’s dividend” in the late 1700s, and with variations actually having been piloted in several US cities and in Manitoba during the 1970s.
Though many variations of the concept exist, with terms such as “negative income tax,” “basic income grant,” and “universal social payment” all signaling slightly different policy approaches, the basic idea is the same: the government would ensure, either by a direct payment or a top-up in the tax system, that all citizens (in some plans, certainly those proposed on the left, this would be extended to include refugees and permanent residents) not fall below a certain level of income per year. The exact level of cut-off varies between plans, but is usually located somewhere just above the Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) in Canada, which is roughly $24,000 per year for a single adult, or a similar poverty measure in other jurisdictions.Read more
Dr. Rosana Salvaterra
Across Canada, and around the world, people from all sides of the political spectrum are starting to talk about the BIG idea of a basic income guarantee (BIG), also known as a guaranteed annual income.
The Ontario government has recently approved a three-year basic income pilot project and selected three cities — Hamilton/Brantford, Thunder Bay and Lindsay — as test sites. Federally, a motion in the Senate to encourage the government to investigate the cost and impact of a national basic income program has garnered cross-party support. Globally, Finland has launched a basic income pilot – and tech giants like Tesla’s Elon Musk have said a universal basic income will be necessary for everyone in the future.
So what is a basic income guarantee – and why all the fuss?
In a power-sharing deal that transforms the political landscape of British Columbia, the New Democratic Party (NDP) and Green Party are committing to run a basic income pilot.
In B.C.’s recent election, no party won a majority of seats. If the NDP, with 41 seats, and the Green Party, with three seats, combine they will have a paper-thin 44-seat majority in the 87-seat legislature. They will get a chance to topple the Liberal government on a confidence vote sometime in the next few weeks.
In one of dozens of examples of cooperation between the two parties, the basic income pilot agreement represents a growing movement in Canada. In fact, with B.C. in the mix, the three largest provinces in Canada are now tackling basic income in various ways.Read more
TORONTO–The Ontario government has just announced that minimum wage in this province will increase to $15 an hour from $11.40 an hour in just 18 months.
At a press conference Premier Kathleen Wynne says government “has a responsibility to step up” to help build a fair society.
“I have always believed that government must be a force for good…and that this is the reason it exists. Increasing the minimum wage will make a world of difference in millions of lives,” says Wynne.
Wynne says it has always been a challenge to raise a family on minimum wage, “but recently it has become almost impossible.”Read more
For many years, Regent Park resident Sam Haque thought the Disney adage: “If you can dream it, you can do it” was advice only for people of privilege.
“I thought it was only something rich parents tell their children,” he says. “But I’m proof that everyone can do it. And that’s the message I’m trying to get out there.”
Haque, 35, who came to Toronto with his mother from Bangladesh when he was 15, turned his back on an opportunity to go to law school about eight years ago to follow his passion for doodling and design, and created Wise Media.Read more
Near Lock 33 in Lindsay, there is a constant buzz of activity in the summer.
This town of 20,000 is part of the 386-km long Trent Severn Waterway, a system of 44 locks and 39 swing bridges.
Children fish from the banks of the Scugog River as it snakes its way through town. Visitors stroll along the wooden boardwalk, snapping up pictures of the town’s old mill.
The locks, old mill, and river parks are the natural heart of Lindsay, all just mere steps away from its healthy downtown core. Here, one of the widest main streets in Ontario bustles with people and patios. It’s a downtown where people still actually shop, free from the retail clout of Wal-Mart, though developers continue to try and change that.Read more