The Royal Society of Canada published a new report by leading Canadian economists that make 16 recommendation in four areas to support economic recovery in Canada from COVID-19: renewing the social contract; reinvigorating the economy; enabling innovation; and improving crisis policy responses. The first recommendation from this report is that Canada establish a basic income guarantee (BIG). Read the full report here.
Canada’s poor continue to be told “not yet”
The Senate – 9 Dec, 2020: Using a rare procedural step to oppose the second reading of Bill C-17, an Act granting money for federal public administration to the end of March 2021, Senator Kim Pate made a stunning speech in the Senate Chamber. Despite promises from the federal government, 3.5 million Canadians living below the poverty line continue to be excluded from income support programs like CERB and enhancements to EI, because the government says “not yet” to those living in deepest poverty. Read or watch this brilliant and impactful speech here.
Charlottetown – The Guardian (10 Dec, 2020): PEI’s Report from the all-party Special Committee on Poverty recommended implementing a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) in PEI as a test case for all of Canada – but it also included a backup plan if the federal government declines to partner with PEI to deliver a province-wide program. Plan B is another pilot reaching one-tenth of the people who need a basic income in PEI. BIG advocates say no to Plan B.
Pope Frances calls for UBI
The Guardian (24 Nov, 2020): In his new book due out this December, Let Us Dream: the Path to a Better Future, Pope Francis speaks of the economic, social and political changes he says are needed to address inequalities after the pandemic ends. “Recognizing the value to society of the work of non-earners is a vital part of our rethinking in the post-Covid world… By providing a universal basic income, we can free and enable people to work for the community in a dignified way…” he said.
The Pope also criticized trickle-down economics, the theory that tax breaks and other incentives for big business and the wealthy eventually will benefit the rest of society through investment and job creation. He called it “the false assumption of the infamous trickle-down theory that a growing economy will make us all richer”.
Dr. Evelyn Forget, an economist at the University of Manitoba, explains in the November issue of Policy Options why “A guaranteed minimum income would be more effective than current government programs” and why replacing the raft of recovery benefits with a simple, permanent guaranteed income would be an automatic stabilizer for people and the economy.
Watch this webinar about what a basic income would mean for students. Basic Income is proposed as a solution to the financially precarious position that a growing number of students find themselves in. Viewed over 500 times, this video is hosted by BICYN, BI Nova Scotia, BICN, the Canadian Federation of Students and the Meal Exchange.
Interview: Artpreneur keynote Zainub Verjee on a basic income guarantee for Canadian creatives
Here is an excerpt of the article published in the Ottawa news website Apt613.ca by Ryan Pepper on November 19, 2020
“It’s no secret that the arts sector is in a crisis. COVID-19 restrictions closed venues and institutions in March and many still haven’t reopened—and many, some in Ottawa, won’t open again. This month’s annual Artpreneur conference is dedicating three days to the disruptions in Ottawa’s creative sector. But instead of mourning the loss of venues, incomes, and livelihoods, the conference is looking to the future for sustainable, lasting solutions.
“One of the buzzy proposals is a Basic Income Guarantee (B.I.G.), which gained popularity after the successful rollout of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The idea now has wide, cross-partisan support…”
Nov 3 @7pm EST
Should Freelancers Advocate for Universal Basic Income
A webinar hosted by :
Canadian Freelance Union/Syndicat canadien des pigistes
This video celebrates and shares performances, speeches and calls to action by and from politicians, artists and concerned Toronto residents. The Time for Basic Income is NOW.
This video features performances and statements by:
- Multidisciplinary artists Craig Berggold: 00:00
- Musician Rachael Cardiello: 04:32
- Politician and activist Leah Gazan: 10:32
- Artist Jessie Golem (Humans of Basic Income): 15:30
- Poet and professor George Elliott Clarke: 23:38
- Politician and author Rima Berns-McGown: 26:58
- Musician Amy The Coda: 29:02
- Politician and activist Dr. Jill Andrew: 32:29
- Cultural worker Philip Zave: 35:09
- Musician Tara Kannangara: 37:53
Created by the Toronto Artists for Basic Income group.
Sheila Regehr, Chair of Basic Income Canada Network, responds to Speech from the Throne
The Speech from the Throne began with the message that ‘this is not the time for austerity’ and talked about ‘fighting for every Canadian’. The content is far more status quo than bold or transformative, however, and doesn’t match the rhetoric. Canadians from all sectors and walks of life are calling for a basic income to give everyone a fighting chance but it was glaringly absent.