Making the Case for Universal Basic Income

Posted on May 10, 2021 in Inclusion Policy Context

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The idea of providing a fixed income for all members of society to meet their basic needs and, in doing so, escape cycles of poverty, instability and ill health, is… a well-studied and financially viable option that would benefit Canada’s economy and social fabric immensely… Basic income programs are not tied to employment, and, unlike welfare and disability assistance, they do not require constant monitoring to determine eligibility and deservedness… basic income is about freedom. Not the freedom of unregulated capitalism… that prioritizes corporations above people — but a more expansive, human one.

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Child & Family

‘It’s time’: Local moms laud area senator’s drug-decriminalization bill

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Former OPP commissioner leading the charge for a national strategy; ‘These are people with health issues who need treatment, not jail time’… the opioid crisis continues to devastate people and families from all walks of life. Boniface noted there were 1,517 apparent opioid toxicity deaths in Ontario in 2019… In 2019, about 75 per cent of all opioid-poisoning deaths involved fentanyl. “If that’s not enough to start a conversation, I don’t know what is”


Defund the Police? Let’s Tackle Toxic Masculinity First

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In addition to clarifying the role of the police, we also have an opportunity in North America to promote a more justice-oriented style of police leadership and to put in place long-term mechanisms of accountability to support and sustain change. At the same time, we need to be active participants in challenging societal norms that continue to equate policing with manliness and aggression.


Education

Subjects of the New Corporate University: The Sabotage of Laurentian University

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Fully half of the university’s programs, developed over 61 years, were eliminated… Laurentian University’s administration won an insolvency court’s permission to restructure the university in order to close less “popular” programs, in the name of achieving financial solvency… three of Canada’s ‘Big Six’ banks – RBC, TD-Canada Trust, and Bank of Montreal – have a vote on a restructured university plan, but faculty (no mention of the phrase ‘collegial governance’ has been hinted at) and students have no voice, no vote, and won’t be consulted in any genuine way.


Laurentian’s vision has been betrayed and destroyed

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Laurentian University is not simply a corporate entity, modelled on the worst aspects of private enterprise… I urge all those who have created the Laurentian community to peel back the rhetoric of false promises offered by current deceitful leadership. A theft is occurring — stealing opportunities, historic relationships and the building of knowledge. Now let us stand together to protect and advance the vision and achievements of a university that served its community with honour and pride.


Employment

Business groups frustrated as sick leave debate carries on

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While businesses — and some governments — are inclined to focus on the upfront cost of providing paid sick leave, there are solid business arguments to make for supporting it… “You can be closed down if there’s an outbreak. That’s a huge cost for a business”… Slowing COVID’s spread will also make it possible for the economy to open up sooner and more reliably…


It’s time to abolish tipping once and for all

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“The removal of tipping cannot happen in most restaurants, on their own, in the current marketplace, where all their competition practises tipping… the only way to really get rid of tipping is through government policy. So it’s an even playing field for everybody….” Now, in a largely cashless environment with drastically reduced gross sales, it’s servers who stand to immediately benefit from being paid a wage rather than relying on tips.


Equality

Pandemic pay bonuses are going to executives, instead of the front-line workers taking all the risks

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At the same time that executives at Chartwell — Canada’s largest operator of retirement and long-term-care homes — were writing each other big cheques, they were outright rejecting a shareholder proposal to study the possibility of a living wage for their staff. Think about that. They weren’t even being asked to actually pay a living wage — hardly a huge ask in itself. They were only being asked to look into the possibility of doing it, and they said no.


Taxing extreme wealth to offset the costs of the pandemic would be unquestionably fair

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… we should look to new tax measures on extreme wealth transfers, including inheritance taxes, and to changes in the tax treatment of investment income to ensure more equitable treatment in relation to employment income. But for now, as we look to Budget 2021, we should ask those with extreme wealth to pay for our national recovery.


Health

‘Not vaccine hesitancy but inequity.’ Organizers take us inside Toronto’s northwest pop-ups where lines form everyday at 5 a.m.

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… thousands lined up in rain and snow make it clear that low vaccination rates in these communities aren’t products of vaccine hesitancy. Rather, the situation unfolding has everything to do with structural inequities that starve communities of key resources, and in this case, life saving vaccines in the midst of a deadly pandemic… If vaccines are made accessible in trusted spaces, through trusted relationships, people will come.


Under pressure, Ontario government scrambles to launch a provincial sick leave program

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Ford scrapped the previous two days of guaranteed paid sick leave that were on the books after his Progressive Conservative toppled former premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals in 2018. Local public health officers, mayors, opposition parties and the government’s science table of advisers have long urged paid sick days for workers whose employers don’t provide them. That has led to many essential workers going to their jobs with COVID-19 symptoms, spreading the virus.


Inclusion

Making the Case for Universal Basic Income

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The idea of providing a fixed income for all members of society to meet their basic needs and, in doing so, escape cycles of poverty, instability and ill health, is… a well-studied and financially viable option that would benefit Canada’s economy and social fabric immensely… Basic income programs are not tied to employment, and, unlike welfare and disability assistance, they do not require constant monitoring to determine eligibility and deservedness… basic income is about freedom. Not the freedom of unregulated capitalism… that prioritizes corporations above people — but a more expansive, human one.


In first of three reports, charitable sector advisory committee proposes three core reforms

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The current advisory group was formed in late 2019 as a means of engaging and advising the federal government on the state of laws and regulations supporting the work and operations of charities. There is broad consensus across the sector that it’s time to review and update federal policies that define the activities of charities and govern the way they raise funds, work with non-charities, and deploy their resources.


Social Security

Ontario’s vision for social assistance is encouraging – but the budget tells a different story

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Last week’s provincial budget did not include significant funds for housing or other services that contribute to well-being… Current rates are woefully inadequate. The last time rates were increased was 2018. As the cost of living has continued to rise, this means that people have, in effect, had their rates cut during this period. To support people to live with dignity, social assistance must provide both sufficient income and access to services.


Is it time to bury the idea of a universal basic income?

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… the real issue with basic income is a public commitment to an adequate income floor below which no one should fall when factoring in all income sources. A range of income support programs can provide universal coverage without being uniform in delivery as the recent B.C. study indicates… Highly diverse needs by age, gender, (dis)ability, family status, education, employment status, etc. suggest that income supports should be tailored to a wide variety of living circumstances within our population.


Governance

Budget 2021 Misses the Opportunity to #TaxtheRich

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By implementing tax reforms like creating a wealth tax, implementing an excess pandemic profits tax, and closing tax loopholes, Canada can raise the revenue it needs to fund its post-pandemic recovery. We don’t have to choose between childcare and pharmacare; or making substantial investment in eldercare to implement new national standards the government has committed to establishing for Long-term care… by missing the opportunity to tax the rich, the government quite literally failed to cash in on what the people want.


Trudeau should join Biden in rejecting suffocating ‘trickle-down’ economics

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Trudeau has shown some spine against the deficit hawks, but he has been timid about joining Biden’s campaign to tax the wealthy… Too bad. We could sure use the money to pay for needed programs. Besides, when nations co-operate, corporations have a hard time playing us off against each other in pushing for ever-lower taxes… if other countries follow the U.S. in policing their corporations this way “it’s the end of tax havens.”