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Montreal-area mayor says basic income needed to end poverty

By Roderick Benns

A Montreal-area mayor says it’s time to adopt a basic income policy in Canada to eliminate poverty.

Mayor Danie Deschenes of NotreDame-de-l’ÎlePerrot, just west of the island of Montreal in Quebec, says “all elected officials could be supporting the idea of all citizens having a basic income.”

She sees it as a way to overcome poor housing and a sub-standard quality of life for people.

“As elected officials, we should strive to improve our citizens’ lives and the lives of their children,” says Deschenes.

Three hundred and twenty-seven mayors across Canada were asked to complete a national survey by Leaders and Legacies, in order to gauge municipal level support for a basic income guarantee policy. Results are slowing being released as data is gathered.

A common definition of a basic income guarantee ensures everyone an income sufficient to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of work status. It involves a regular, reliable distribution of money from government to people to help ensure total income sufficient to meet common, basic needs.

Deschenes says it’s important to support people who need more income to remain above the poverty line, but she also notes that it is “everyone’s responsibility to support others and sustain the region’s needs.”

The mayor also believes that a basic income guarantee would lead to improved individual, family and public health outcomes, and that it would stimulate the local economy in her region since more people would have more dollars to spend.

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