The COVID-19 pandemic is an awkward time to propose exiting food banks as a response to widespread food insecurity. Food bank use, after all, is surging.
However, research has long shown that feeding surplus food to those left behind in wealthy, food-secure Canada is ineffective, inequitable and an affront to human dignity.
In a democratic society that values tolerance, equity and human rights, food banks are symbols of public policy neglect. They enable indifferent governments to ignore the moral crisis of domestic hunger.Read more
The government of Nunavut is looking at what it would take to have a guaranteed basic income in the territory.
A request for proposals for a feasibility study for a guaranteed basic income program has been issued by the Nunavut Department of Family Services.
A guaranteed basic income is a program that provides individuals and families with income sufficient to live on with few or no conditions for eligibility.
In 2017, 40 per cent of Nunavummiut relied on income assistance, according to the government of Nunavut. In 2019, 37 per cent of residents were on income assistance.Read more
The Energy Mix
Sheila Regehr has been chair of the Basic Income Canada Network since 2014. She’s a retired federal public servant with years of experience working on income security, and past executive director of the National Council of Welfare. With the federal Speech from the Throne coming up today, she explains how a basic income builds up communities, reduces anxiety, and makes a whole host of problems easier to solve—including the climate crisis.
The Energy Mix: What’s the basic argument for a basic income?
Regehr: That’s the most difficult question to start with because it’s so all-encompassing. The very basic idea is that everyone is part of society and the economy. Everyone should be able to participate and benefit from it. In our modern world that takes money. It’s a matter of human rights and dignity, and it’s a common good, the idea of sharing resources.Read more
- a Zoom based (due pandemic) Basic Income March,
- facilitated by 'Worldwide Meetings of UBI Advocates and UBI Networks',
- organized by UBI Networks,
- on 19th of September 2020, Saturday,
- at GMT 12:00, or at GMT 14:30, or at GMT 19:00,
- as a participation in the 2nd Basic Income March (an initiative by; Income Movement),
- during the 13th International Basic Income Week.
You may recall that the Wynne government instituted a basic income pilot project in a handful of Ontario cities, including Hamilton, and early indications seemed to indicate that the program was having a positive impact on low-income earners.Read more
A guaranteed basic income for all Canadians has emerged as the top policy choice of Liberal MPs, just as the Trudeau government is crafting its plan to help people weather the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild the ravaged economy.
The Liberal caucus is calling on the government to adopt the idea in a priority policy resolution for consideration at the party's upcoming national convention.
And MPs consider it so important that they've designated it their top resolution, guaranteeing that it will go directly to the Nov. 12-15 convention for debate and a vote.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
Long before Covid-19 hit, faith in capitalism was faltering. The global recession of 2008 highlighted the growing gulf between the haves and the have-nots in developed economies. Soon after, the rise of China’s state-managed economy challenged the hegemony of unconstrained free markets.
In the United States, the surging pandemic has sent inequality into overdrive. American billionaires have grown 20 percent richer, as unemployment has soared to record levels. It remains to be seen just how much of this cognitive dissonance the system can sustain before spinning into total chaos.