At the beginning of December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he could see no path forward for a guaranteed basic income right now. For the sake of Canadians everywhere, he should spend some more time looking.
Many working Canadians are struggling in the current labour market. Globalization, rapid technological change and the gig economy have changed the nature of the labour market.
People no longer spend the majority of their career working for one company; many jobs limit the number of hours an employee can work to avoid providing them with benefits; and jobs in the gig economy (for example, Uber drivers, food delivery drivers, renting out your home via Airbnb, and selling services or products through the internet) carry no benefits at all.
About one-third of male workers and slightly more of female workers are now in some non-standard form of work. Women, Indigenous Peoples, Black Canadians, People of Colour and undocumented migrant workers are over-represented in these kinds of risky job situations.
Coupled with this is Canada’s housing bubble: in 97 per cent of city neighbourhoods across Canada, a single person working in a full-time, minimum-wage job cannot afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment.
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