Home » Basic Income/Healthy Communities » Five New Brunswick mayors say it’s time for basic income policy across Canada

Five New Brunswick mayors say it’s time for basic income policy across Canada

By Roderick Benns

Five mayors from New Brunswick are speaking out in favour of basic income guarantee policy — including the mayor of Fredericton, the capital city of the province.

Brad Woodside, Mayor of Fredericton, Gerry Cormier, Mayor of Miramichi, Yvon Lapierre, Mayor of Dieppe, Cyrille Simard, Mayor of Edmundston, and Bill Bishop, Mayor of Rothesay, have all indicated various levels of support for the policy that is gaining more interest across Canada.

Mayors across Canada were given the opportunity to complete a national survey by Leaders and Legacies, in order to gauge municipal level support for a basic income guarantee policy.

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 is sufficient to meet common, basic needs.

Lapierre of Dieppe says basic income policy is the “best way to kick-start our economy, but only if it comes with sufficient money from the abolishment of all other social income programs, such as Employment Insurance.”

A sixth New Brunswick mayor, Stephen Brunet of the City of Bathurst, somewhat agreed that a basic income guarantee – which would put more money in people’s pockets – might stimulate the local economy of his community, which would help businesses. However, he wonders about the implementation costs.

Atlantic Canada support for the policy has been strong, even in the capital regions. Recently the capital city mayors of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and St. John’s, Newfoundland have spoken out strongly in favour of basic income policy.


  1. Having advocated some form of Universal Basic Income, and equally or perhaps more importantly, how best to pay for it, for well over forty years, I wish to add a few comments to this encouraging conversation regarding the necessary, humane and universally beneficial contribution to the betterment of all life on our potentially pleasant Spaceship Earth.

    Socioeconomic Democracy is offered as a peaceful, effective and democratic resolution to humanity’s past, present and needless systemic problems. The crucial question is whether humanity has yet evolved sufficiently to understand and peacefully eliminate the utterly unnecessary obstacles to further healthy development and evolution.

    Socioeconomic Democracy (SeD) is a theoretically consistent and peacefully implementable psycho-politico-socio-economic system wherein there exist both some form and amount of locally appropriate Universally Guaranteed Personal Income (UGI) and some form and amount of locally appropriate Maximum Allowable Personal Wealth (MAW), with both the lower bound on guarantee personal income and the upper bound on personal material wealth set and adjusted periodically and democratically by all participants of a democratic society.

    Socioeconomic Democracy is easily implemented with elementary Public Choice Theory. The median values of society’s preference distributions regarding these two crucial societal parameters peacefully, democratically and unambiguously resolve the matter. An alternative to Socioeconomic Democracy as defined above would be where the two economic boundaries were considered and established by, say, the legislative branch of a “Representative” Democracy.

    A Bibliography of Socioeconomic Democracy is available at

  2. I am wondering about this? Isn’t it basically the same idea that communism supports only i guess it’s raising low income earners up to a more effective income. I understand that some people (high earners) have gone through school and special programs to be in the position they are in but my honest opinion is this… No human being should have any more than they need to live happily period! And as happiness cannot be measured in money but rather quality of life and the ability to fulfil ones dreams how exactly is this going to be possible if higher earners get to sit on more money than they can actually spend on themselves! I feel as though once some of these people have so much money it becomes almost an addiction the same as shopping or gambling so honestly why do we allow for people to reach the point in which they literally have so much money that they actually cannot even spend it? I mean I get we are a free country and all and can earn whatever we want, but why not put a higher tax on people who actually have way more money than they can spend EVER? We live in a world that can completely sustain us if we were using it correctly and in a society where no person should ever be without EVER, and yet most of us cannot obtain decent education to further ourselves without going so far in debt that depression takes over! A basic income is only half the battle it seems like a good idea and all but where are you gonna get the money? The low or middle class? I mean really maybe people with high paying jobs have to to more paper work or have different stresses in their lives but there are people out there literally killing themselves for super low wages while these people sit at a desk ,in meetings , flying around seeing the world literally living in luxury making so much money while the majority of the poopulous is the spine of all their businesses and they cant be bothered to pay better! Tax them more I say so that we the 99% have a chance to survive … you will have no anything without the workers of this world cause you cant build a house with a pretty smile that takes strength, pain ,determination, and extremely strong will power to tell yourself everyday to get up and face the world that makes you feel meaningless!!! We are the 99% and the 1% need to treat us with some dignity and respect because WE MAKE THE WORLD WORK!!!!!

  3. Roderick Benns

    Thanks for writing Robley and Shantelle. Robley, your perspective is not as accessible for the layperson but I appreciate your efforts to help understand these issues through your framework. Shantelle, you make some valid points. Harvard philosopher T. M. Scanlon notes there are a few reasons for addressing inequality. Two of the most important are as follows: First, the obvious moral reason — it’s the right thing to do. But there are also practical reasons.

    “Income inequality means that some children will…find it harder to access the first small steps to larger opportunities, such as a loan to start a business or pay for an advanced degree,” Scanlon writes.

    He also notes that workers, as part of a cooperative effort to create a national income, have an honest claim to “a fair share of what they have helped to produce.”

    Shantelle, you mention this in your final statement — that the world works because of the efforts of a vast pool of people at ‘the bottom’ who are actually doing important work to make society function.

    Thanks for your comments…more stories to come!

    — Roderick Benns

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