The Beacon Herald
With millions still out of work and a so-called new normal yet to be fully realized, Canada’s social safety net has been put under a harsh spotlight during the pandemic, and some observers, including non-profit and public health leaders in Huron and Perth counties, are ready to discuss where we should go from here.
Leading the way locally is United Way Perth Huron and its Social Research and Planning Council. In a discussion paper published last month, the council set a clear direction towards basic income, an idea that was brushed aside in Ontario as recently as last year but is again picking up steam as the number of applications for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit surpasses 8.5 million.Read more
North Bay Nugget
Food insecurity has been identified as a public health issue in some parts of Northern Ontario for a few years now, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it worse.
The issue has prompted the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit to ask the prime minister to support the idea of creating a universal basic income for all Canadian families — enough that they can afford to buy groceries.
Kendra Patrick, a public health dietitian with the health unit, says food insecurity refers to a household that does not have enough money to buy healthy food.
Letter to Editor
During this COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should seize this moment and take an initiative to implement new socially progressive programs, like a universal basic income and a national pharmacare program.
Our country needs a Franklin Delano Roosevelt New Deal approach to some of our country's socioeconomic ills.
Out of the Great Depression (1929-39) and the Second World War (1939-45) came social security and unemployment insurance, and in Canada's case, family allowance (or the baby bonus).
Many of our European allies implemented universal public medicare (including pharmacare) systems in their respective countries long before Canada did. Now, hard times call for desperate measures.Read more
St. Catharines Standard
Niagara’s public health department is asking regional councillors to lobby upper-tier governments to develop a guaranteed basic income pilot project, in light of the inequitable impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on low income residents.
A motion will be considered at Tuesday’s public health and social services committee meeting, recommends that councillors call on the federal and provincial government to prioritize measures to reduce poverty and income inequality in society, while recommending pilot projects such as basic income guarantee projects.Read more
Winnipeg Free Press
Basic Income Manitoba partnered with the Winnipeg Free Press for its essay contest that challenged entrants to write about what it would mean to have a society in which every individual had sufficient income for their basic needs.
As part of that partnership, the Free Press is publishing the winning entries from the high school and post-secondary categories.
High school winner: Heidi Jean, Maples Met School
Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, once wrote, "In the daily lives of most men and women, fear plays a greater part than hope: they are more filled with the thought of the possessions that others may take from them, than of the joy that they might create in their own lives and in the lives with which they come in contact."Read more
For many years, basic income was seen to be a niche political issue with sparse support among major political figures.
However, the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) and advocates in other countries have been tireless in its pursuit.
With reported successes in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot and growth of electoral support across North America galvanized by leaders like Andrew Yang, support has expanded.
In Canada, several senators and business leaders have aligned themselves behind the concept.Read more
In April, Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan made a comment in the red chamber that should make young people from coast-to-coast-to-coast furious.
Pointing to the supposed work disincentives of benefits such as the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) or The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the senator described a scenario in which students did not pursue summer jobs, but were instead “hanging out by the pool, most likely at their parents’ house.”Read more
Basic Income Canada Network included in short list of 6 Canadian groups working toward positive change
Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) has been included in a recently published video wiki "Groups Working Toward Positive Change In Canada.
Millions of monthly visitors will have a chance to learn about BICN and its mission.
The group points out BICN is a non-partisan organization advocating for a Basic Income Guarantee for the country's population.
“Arguing that the rise of automation will drive mass unemployment, this group calls for a universal wage to serve as a safety net, supporting independence and career flexibility.Read more
COVID-19 has prompted the federal government to support individuals through the Canada Economic Emergency Benefit (CERB).
Basic income has become the Swiss Army knife of social policy.
Beyond offering sufficient income to manage the daily expenses of living, advocates believe it will improve health and psychological outcomes, enhance distributive justice, mitigate the employment effects of automation, spur gender equality, create true freedom, improve the esthetics of existence and transform the relationship between people and work.Read more
Evelyn Forget was a psychology student in Toronto in 1974 when she first heard about a ground-breaking social experiment that had just begun in the rural Canadian community of Dauphin, Manitoba.
“I found myself in an economics class which I wasn’t looking forward to,” she remembers. “But in the second week, the professor came in, and spoke about this wonderful study which was going to revolutionise the way we delivered social programmes in Canada. To me, it was a fascinating concept, because until then I’d never really realised you could use economics in any kind of positive way.”
The experiment was called ‘Mincome’, and it had been designed by a group of economists who wanted to do something to address rural poverty. Once it was implemented in the area, it had real results: over the four years that the program ended up running in the 1970s, an average family in Dauphin was guaranteed an annual income of 16,000 Canadian dollars ($11,700, £9,400).Read more