A leadership hopeful for the NDP Party of Saskatchewan, Dr. Ryan Meili, says it’s time for Saskatchewan to “take the leap” and support a basic income guarantee.
Meili, who recently won a Saskatoon-area by-election for the NDP and is now a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), is also a medical doctor in Saskatoon. In addition, he is the founder of a progressive movement called ‘Upstream.’ While he is no longer affiliated with the non-partisan Upstream, the core tenets of the movement still inform his stance on the issues.
This includes more upstream thinking on matters of public health policy, recognizing that health is largely a result of the living conditions in which people find themselves and can therefore be improved with better policy decisions.Read more
Josh Dunn was finally getting paid for his poetry and he didn’t have to rely on his grandmother’s home-cooked meals to help him make ends meet.
Dunn had reason to be optimistic back in August 2015. His application for a $6,000 Arts Nova Scotia grant had been approved, a solid followup to the success of his one-man play in 2013.
His life was moving forward.
But the grant turned out to be something of a curse. On the one hand, it provided three months of meaningful work, but on the other, he was promptly kicked off social assistance.
Dunn would have been entitled to a percentage of his allowance if the government considered the grant part-time work.Read more
A stinging, light rain is in the air in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland. A white fishing trawler edges up to the dock and immediately there is a bustle of activity.
One man is below deck organizing the day’s catch while another man, above, eases up a basket of cod from the belly of the boat, out onto the dock. There it is swiftly dragged a few feet to an outbuilding, where the fish are set up for filleting and preparing.Read more
Roderick Benns recently interviewed Floyd Marinescu about basic income, a Toronto-based CEO and co-founder of C4Media which produces InfoQ.com and the QCon conferences. Marinescu is also an angel investor, author, and humanitarian.
Benns: Tell me a little about your early life. Where did you grow up?
Marinescu: I was born and raised in Toronto and still live here. My parents were immigrants who fled from communist Romania in the 1970s. I grew up in a fairly poor, working class family, with an atmosphere that was somewhat typical of right-wing, eastern European immigrants’ views of the ills of government control, taxes, and the police state. What I came to realize in my exploration of basic income is that it will prevent the conditions that led to communism and other revolutions like it. I think basic income reduces socialism, too, as it promotes real republican freedom as economist Guy Standing points out. You reduce the size of government programs with efficient cash transfers, and you replace government behavioral interference in the lives of the poor and instead give people the resources for greater choice, freedom, and safety.
Benns: What was the turning point for you in your acceptance of basic income as a valuable policy tool?Read more
Nutritionist and food-security expert Valerie Tarasuk recalls the meeting, early on in a five-year-long research project, when she and her fellow researchers reached the point of mind-numbing exhaustion that made civil discourse nearly impossible. It had become clear to them that the way Canadians talked about the prevalence of hunger—mostly framed in terms of food bank use—was missing the point. They needed some way to communicate the severity of the problem as they saw it. But would the public pay any attention to a purely descriptive report based on data gleaned from the “bowels of Stats Canada”?
The answer, it turned out, was yes.Read more
Richard Brown is one of four Island politicians forming a guaranteed basic income plan for the federal government, despite Canada's finance minister saying "that particular idea is not part of our approach."
"I think if we are going to continue to look into this and come up with a a plan for the federal government … they'll take a look at it," Brown told CBC P.E.I.'s Compass.Read more
As the flames streaked down the cement highway median, Rebecca Pallister knew she was in real trouble. Could cement actually burn? In her rear view mirror the forests surrounding Fort McMurray were falling like blackened matchsticks as she gripped her steering wheel more tightly.
It was the spring of 2016 and Canada’s oil capital was on fire.
Today, her escape from the northern Alberta town, known colloquially as ‘Fort Mac,’ is just a vivid memory. For many people who work in the oil sands industry, their roots are often from elsewhere in Canada, having been lured to the prairie province when crude prices soared.Read more
Although we are one of the more prosperous nations, it is widely recognized that many people continue to live below the poverty line. There is approximately 20 percent of the Canadian population that is part of the precarious segment, and this includes people across the age and gender spectrum. This has not been addressed through our social infrastructure programs, in spite of the growing costs and diversity of those programs.
While there is currently much attention being given to this subject, we should not be over-confident that a Basic Income has the degree of public support needed to drive politicians to take the necessary action. There are still many questions, real and imagined, as to the efficacy of a Basic Income as an effective and efficient key tool for combating poverty. The Government of Ontario is an exception whereas the Federal government is removing itself at the present time from any direct intervention.
We are well aware of the local and global changes that are impacting our communities, our country and the globe. Most specifically globalization and its accompanying digital age affect us all. This is happening at a quickening rate and in an increasingly intrusive manner. While the Industrial Age caused its own adjustment problems, the digital revolution (coined the Second Machine Age) affects individuals, communities, businesses and governments alike—at a national and international level. It cannot be slowed down, let alone stopped or ignored.Read more
Last year, you wrote a proposal for a pilot project that would provide select Ontarians with a monthly income of $1,395. Over the summer, the Liberals have been implementing it. Why is basic income a good idea?
Because about 15 per cent of Ontarians currently live below the poverty line. And 70 per cent of them have jobs, so it’s not as if they’re sitting on the couch watching soaps and eating bonbons. And we know that poverty is the best predictor of bad health: poor people get sick more often, go to hospital for longer and have more issues with substance abuse, and their kids drop out of school sooner, all of which costs the rest of us huge amounts of money.
One day, a man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.
Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir.”
The man chuckled.
“But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”Read more