Canada’s smallest province might just be the first to go BIG – and Hugh Segal couldn’t be happier.
After all party leaders in Prince Edward Island endorsed a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) program recently as a poverty reduction strategy, there is optimism that the long-sought-after program might just become a reality.
“I am delighted to hear this news,” Segal, the Conservative standard bearer on this issue for years, tells Leaders and Legacies, “to see fruit on the vine for this issue in Prince Edward Island.”
It was during the Leaders’ Forum on Women’s Issues in mid-April when each one of the major party leaders endorsed the policy to combat poverty. With PEI in the middle of an election now, the implementation of a pilot project or a full model program could come after the May 4th election.
Segal, a retired senator who once served as chief of staff to both Conservative Premier Bill Davis and Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, says he was aware PEI has been giving this serous thought for many years
“I’ve always been of the view that, like most important changes in Canada, it would begin in a province” because a province “has the tools to manage and assess this kind of thing more directly.”
“Like Medicare, it just seems to be the way this country works.”