Basic income and a just recovery

Basic income: Cornerstone of a just recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the deep inequalities in our society and glaring holes in our social safety net. It has unveiled systemic sexism, racism and colonialism that continue to harm us, and has revealed how wealth creation for the few over the needs of the many is leading to environmental calamity and the collapse of our social and ecological systems.

Public policy must now be designed deliberately so that the well-being of all people and the environment counts — and not just the economy.

Basic income: A non-discrimination policy

Coalition Canada: basic income – revenu de base advocates for a basic income that is a critical and integral component of a just society.  

We recognize that oppression in all its forms – including colonialism, racism, sexism, and paternalism – is deeply embedded and enacted within our society. As a result, vast disparities in income, wealth, and health exist. COVID-19 has compounded these disparities and shone a harsh and unavoidable light upon their causes.

Now is the time for systemic and substantive change. In advocating for a basic income, we work in solidarity with those who demand Indigenous rights, racial equity, gender equity, climate action, and an end to oppression. A basic income is a cornerstone of a just, equitable, and ecologically sustainable recovery and society.

Principles of a Just Recovery

Put people’s health and well-being first, no exceptions

Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people

Prioritize the needs of workers and communities

Build resilience to prevent future crises

Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations and borders

Uphold Indigenous rights and work in partnership with Indigenous peoples

Did you know?

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

Despite the high level of post-secondary education, only 44 per cent of millennials have found permanent full-time employment.

Another 47 per cent are working in jobs with some degree of insecurity, including over one-third who are on short-term contracts, freelancing or working through a temporary employment agency.

(Martin JC, Lewchuk W, 2018)

Photo by Alex Geerts on Unsplash

In 2018, only 55.8 per cent of unemployed Canadians received EI benefits.

About 1.1 million Canadians were unemployed at some point in 2018. Of these, only 63.9 per cent contributed to the EI program, and of these, only 87.4 per cent had accumulated enough insurable hours to receive regular EI benefits.

(Statistics Canada, 2018)

Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

During the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 590,000 B.C. workers lost their jobs or more than half their hours. 

Who was hardest hit? Lower-paid workers in part-time, temporary and more precarious jobs, younger workers, recent immigrants, women — particularly mothers of younger children — and workers who lacked the protection of a union.

(Ivanova I, 17 July 2020)