• We can improve mental-health care by fighting poverty

    We know that poverty aggravates our mental health, but we are not investing in anti-poverty strategies. Why is that? … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent promise to provide $70-million to target mental-health care will fund more services and expand the number of professionals, but those dollars will not reach the people who need it most.

  • Ontario’s social experiment: Can basic income buy happiness?

    It is unknown whether basic income will work in the 21st century or on a larger scale. Critics see it as a disincentive to work, not to mention unsustainable, while supporters see it easing the burdens on the health-care system, as well as a necessity in a world without jobs… If deemed successful, basic income could be rolled out more widely and transform how social assistance is provided.

  • A Stronger Safety Net

    … filing a tax return would automatically trigger a “no-­strings-attached” cash grant for anyone whose income falls below the poverty line. Less of the money earned above the $1,320 would be clawed back, providing a greater incentive for claimants to work, says Segal. The proposed program is far easier to administer, less paternalistic and allows people to spend their money as they choose…

  • Why free money is a hard sell in tough times

    The go-go growth of four decades ago was not an ideal incubator for an idealistic income support program. Critics might have said, back then (if not now): Get a job… Today it’s possible to get a job, but harder to keep a job, because jobs for life turned out to be short-lived… Pick your poison: globalization, automation, artificial intelligence or information technology… Against that backdrop, the guaranteed minimum payout has been rebranded a basic income.

  • Three Ontario cities to test basic income in three-year pilot project

    Residents of Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay will be the first Ontarians to receive a guaranteed minimum income as part of a new provincial pilot project… Premier Kathleen Wynne… said the level of support starts at just under $17,000 a year for single people, and while that isn’t extravagant, she says it will make a real difference in people’s lives.

  • Basic income will cut costs

    … we can’t depend on human compassion to motivate us to help the poor, or we would have done it long ago… The Danes researched the cost of poverty in association to mental and physical health care, crime and incarceration, underachievement in education and employment and sheer human misery. It far exceeded the cost of paying people a modest living wage or providing the needed assistance to reach a basic income.

  • Don’t make ‘basic income’ an excuse for inaction

    The stark reality of that is shoddy housing, bad health, poor nutrition, social exclusion and petty crime — all the social ills that come with entrenched poverty. The government doesn’t need a five-year project to figure that out… “basic income” could be a game-changer — if it is designed properly”… In this area, the devil really is in the details… it could lead to a more generous, more efficient and more modern system. Or it could result in its opposite — a meaner, more constrained approach that puts public services at the mercy of the marketplace.

  • Toronto residents pin hopes on basic income

    Although a basic income could provide financial stability while younger workers get established, workers’ rights advocates caution the initiative must not be used to prop up precarious work and low wages. “Any basic income program must be accompanied by strong employment standards legislation, increased access to unionization and a minimum wage that brings people above the poverty line,” says Pam Frache, an organizer with the Workers’ Action Centre.

  • Ontario embraces no-strings-attached basic income experiment

    Housing Minister Chris Ballard, responsible for Ontario’s poverty reduction strategy, says basic income “has captured people’s imaginations.” “It’s a rare opportunity to make some real change… There has been so much talk, so much written. A little bit of study here, a little bit of study there. A lot of theory. We’re going to have an opportunity to do a rock-solid pilot that is either going to prove or disprove it.”

  • A short history of the poverty-busting power of basic income

    The idea of a minimum or basic income has been around for almost 500 years… But, now it’s the international darling once again. Pilot projects are planned or underway in almost a dozen countries in both the developed and underdeveloped world in response to concern that globalization and technological advances are leaving large swaths of the population behind.