The Case for Basic Income series

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 the Case for Basic Income for Women, including Coalition Canada Basic Income Guarantee, 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. 

The Case for Basic Income series has been developed by the Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN) in concert with Basic Income Canada Network, Basic Income Canada Youth Network and Coalition Canada: basic income – revenu de base.

The cases examine 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 cases were developed to: 

  • Examine issues related to basic income within sectors.
  • Build networks of support for basic income within sectors. 
  • Learn from those with a range of expertise within each sector, including research and policy, but also from those with lived experience.

While participants identify distinctive issues and concerns, 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 or are in development:

Developing Each Case

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 meet (now online) to discuss their issues and concerns and to determine how they want to publicize their findings, which are then posted on the OBIN website.