The Case for Basic Income Series

This series examines basic income through the lens of different sectors in our society: work, small business, health, food security, justice, women, the arts, LGBTQ+, and others.

The series is continuing to develop with the ongoing support of Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN), Basic Income Canada Youth Network (BICYN) and Coalition Canada: basic income-revenu de base. The cases are published on the OBIN webiste

Update – February 2021: The Case for Basic Income for Health has now been published. The World Health Organization states that income is the major social determinant of health. Yet one in seven Canadians (4.9 million) currently lives in poverty, with even more living in economic precarity. This briefing note was prepared by Gary Bloch, Christine Bushey, Evelyn Forget, Arman Hamidian, Corey Neudorf, Amanda Pereira, Lisa Simon, Frank Welsh, and Adam Zvric. Show your support by signing the open letter here.

Update – December 2, 2020: Read the briefing note for the Case for Basic Income and Food Security: Addressing Food Insecurity through a Basic Income Guarantee prepared by Elaine Power, Joëlle Favreau, Mary Anne Martin, Val Tarasuk and Erin Reyce.

Update – November 5, 2020: Basic Income: Making the Case for Women and Gender Equity, was submitted to the Standing Committee on the status of Women. The brief was presented by Tracy Smith-Carrier and Chloe Halpenny on behalf of Coalition Canada: basic income – revenu de base, Ontario Basic Income Network, Basic Income Canada Network, and Basic Income Canada Youth Network.

UPDATE – September 15, 2020: The Case for Basic Income for Women was launched and over 4,000 people have signed our open letter for a basic income guarantee. You can sign the open letter here.

UPDATE – July 16, 2020: The Case for Basic Income and the Arts was launched, and over 3,000 artists have signed the public letter for a basic income guarantee. 30+ arts organizations and unions representing 75,000+ members are advocating for a basic income to make this country a better place for everyone. 

About the cases

The cases were developed to examine issues related to basic income to build support for basic income within sectors. 

Participants involved in developing the cases had the opportunity to learn from colleagues with a range of expertise, including research and policy, but also from those with lived experience.

While each case identifies distinct issues and concerns specific to each sector, there is a common thread that runs through them all – income insecurity – and how a Basic Income Guarantee would enable many in their sector to improve their security and well-being. For example:

  • People experience food insecurity because they lack sufficient income. 
  • People’s mental and physical health is often compromised by income insecurity.
  • People find themselves trapped in abusive relationships because they lack sufficient income to leave. 
  • People whose work is precarious, unpaid or underpaid lack recognition for their work and their contributions to society. 

Each case presents their findings in a variety of ways: 

  • A report or summary.
  • Letters to the Prime Minister, other MPs and Senators
  • Op-eds, articles, and webinars.
  • Webinars, videos, concerts, posters, etc.

The following cases have been completed:

Coming soon: The Case for Basic Income for the Criminal Justice System.

How each case was developed

Each case has an organizing team. The first case for basic income and work was developed in 2019. The organizing team invited 20 people to a full-day round table session, including people with lived experience of poverty, advocates for low-income and disabled persons, social service workers, trade unionists, as well as experts on labour and unemployment services. The findings were published in a report (Rethinking Work and Income Security in the 21st Century: The Case for Basic Income and Work) and media releases publicized key findings from the report.

Each case is developed in a similar way. The organizing team invites sector representatives to discuss their issues and concerns and determine how they want to publicize their findings.