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Basic Income/Healthy Communities

Basic income would help the most severe instances of poverty

A basic income guarantee is not a magic bullet for all forms of economic deprivation in our society, according to a York University professor – but it’s absolutely necessary for the most severe instances of poverty. Dr. Dennis Raphael, a professor of Health Policy and Management at York University in Toronto, says the people in poverty within the bottom 10-15 ... Read More »

Canada a hotspot for Basic Income Week activities, discussions, and events

The ninth annual Basic Income Week surpassed all expectations in Canada with a plethora of basic income-related activities of note. This reflects only a limited cross-section of activities: Ontario Basic Income Pilot Nowhere is the discussion about basic income more developed than in Ontario where the government is poised to release the parameters of a basic income pilot this fall. ... Read More »

Basic income: An indispensable social safety net

Part Two If we hadn’t innovated in the past with respect to our social policy, we would have no Canada Pension Plan. We would have no Employment Insurance. We would have no Guaranteed Income Supplement. These safety nets of our present were unaffordable in our past according to their critics at the time. Often, what we say is unaffordable is ... Read More »

Basic income: Designing a better society

Part One Some critics of basic income argue that people will become lazy should we implement basic income in Ontario or Canada. Is there any logic to such thinking? Is it logical to use deprivation to keep people in jobs that don’t pay? Do we really expect a growing precariat to believe in society if societal attitudes are to carry ... Read More »

‘Everyone has a story’: An interview with Dr. Gary Bloch on basic income and rejecting stereotypes

Roderick Benns recently interviewed Dr. Gary Bloch about basic income. Bloch is a family physician with St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and co-Chair of the Ontario College of Family Physicians’ Committee on Poverty and Health.  His clinical, educational, program development, and research interests focus on the intersection between poverty and health, and specifically on what primary care providers can do to ... Read More »

Basic income is not an alternative to work, it makes work possible: Dr. Danielle Martin

A family doctor says basic income policy represents an acknowledgment “of the right to live a decent life.” Dr. Danielle Martin, a family physician and Vice President Medical Affairs and Health System Solutions at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, says increasing social assistance amounts would not achieve that goal because of the punitive way the welfare system operates. “Rather than ... Read More »

Basic income and the pursuit of freedom

For many people today, especially modern day economists, a guaranteed, basic income is believed necessary to address the rapidly changing job market due to the automation and ‘robotization’ of labour intensive jobs. For others a basic income is required to provide much needed reform of patronizing and often small-minded, or even mean-spirited welfare programs. But they both are wrong – ... Read More »

Having a secure income is the first, best remedy for both education and wellness

Social justice thinker, R. W. Connell, once said that: “Statistically speaking, the best advice I would give to a poor child eager to get ahead in education is to choose richer parents.” Connell’s advice goes beyond education, though. Income is the building block for not only education, but our very health and wellness. Income and its distribution is the most ... Read More »

Helping our neighbours helps us all: The affordability of basic income

About 59 percent of Canadians believe basic income is unaffordable, according to a recent Angus Reid poll. It’s not the first time a populace has been dead wrong about the facts. In the U.S., 42 percent of Americans still think Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in spite of blatant facts to the contrary. If our brothers and sisters to the south ... Read More »