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A Federal Basic Income Within The Post Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

… the federal government should announce its intention to: Introduce a Basic Income Guarantee close to the Market Basket Measure, paid monthly, to residents of Canada between the ages of 18 and 64; Design the Basic Income Guarantee so that those with no income would receive the full benefit, but those with other sources of income would receive a benefit reduced by a proportion of their other income; …

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »

Tinkering with EI leaves the core problems unresolved

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

Like the Guaranteed Income Supplement for Canadian residents over the age of 65, which tops up anyone with a monthly income of less than $1,500, we have the capacity to protect those between ages 18 and 64 from living in or falling into poverty, working poor or otherwise. Tinkering at the edges or succumbing to the chimera of evasive incrementalism will solve none of the fundamental problems that were starkly revealed by the pandemic.

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Posted in Social Security Delivery System | No Comments »

COVID-19 presents lessons in how a guaranteed basic income program could work

Monday, May 4th, 2020

Basic income can be designed to target only those who need a top-up to provide for and maintain a very basic standard of living. And it can be implemented with speed, simplicity and efficiency by the keepers of our tax files, the Canada Revenue Agency… Fifty members of the present Senate (from the left, right and centre) have written to the government recommending that transition planning work be done now…

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CERB is an unintended experiment in basic income

Monday, April 20th, 2020

… we have a historic opportunity for Ottawa, the provinces and territories to reshape cash transfers for Canadians who have low incomes, regardless of the reason why. COVID-19 could create a legacy: an income-support system that is efficient, non-stigmatizing, encourages work and is sufficient to provide better health outcomes and liquidity for people and communities. This would be a streamlined national reform vital to the economics of rebuilding and recovery.

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In new minority reality, unprecedented opportunities await Canada’s Senate

Friday, November 15th, 2019

In the past, tough topics around health care, mental-health challenges, legalization of cannabis, rural and urban poverty, constitutional reform, official-languages policy and the structure of foreign aid have been thoroughly, openly and constructively addressed by Senate committees… Every region of Canada is represented in the Senate, and its demographic and skills mix is representative of Canada as a whole.

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Posted in Governance Debates | 1 Comment »

Where is the ‘how’ in all of the federal election policy promises?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

No voter expects every detail regarding the implementation of a new proposal to anticipate every twist and turn of how events might unfold… But… the judgment, balance, capacity and relevant experience of those seeking to hold the highest elected office in the country are defogged when there is more robust disclosure on how they intend to put into effect the promises they have been selling.

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The Senate should do its job – and respect Canadian voters

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Killing a government bill that was part of an election platform that elected a majority government, and which was passed in the House with multiparty support, is simply not in the Senate’s job description – not as long as Canada is a parliamentary democracy, premised on the British model, as specified in our very Constitution.

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »

Governments can’t ignore income security forever

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Jun 10, 2012.
Except for Newfoundland and Labrador, all provinces pay welfare rates well beneath the poverty line, helping to feed the costly pathologies of poverty that fill our hospitals, our homeless shelters, our prisons and the tragedies of family violence and substance abuse. A frank discussion about income security, poverty and the kind of income floor that could obviate other programs that are unbalanced, expensive to operate, wasteful and disconnected from reality, is long overdue.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | 1 Comment »

Ottawa and provinces should be thinking big

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Dec. 14, 2011
… social determinants of health, predictors of the outcomes around illness and the related stresses, help fill our hospitals and increase the strains on health care. A majority of those who live beneath the poverty line do have jobs, often more than one, but still do not earn enough to make ends meet. If our health-care system is to be one where flexibility, access, appropriate care and financial sustainability are real assets in the service of Canadians, it is vital that any new formula for health-care financing take the social determinants of health into account.

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Posted in Health Policy Context | No Comments »

Tough on poverty, tough on crime

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Feb 20 2011
Debates about whether approaches to crime and corrections in Canada are too soft or too tough are ongoing and endemic… the real issue is why prisons disproportionately house our most vulnerable citizens… Less than 10 per cent of Canadians live beneath the poverty line but almost 100 per cent of our prison inmates come from that 10 per cent. There is no political ideology, on the right or left, that would make the case that people living in poverty belong in jail… If crime abatement is the goal, it is time for all Canadians and their governments to become tough on poverty.

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Posted in Child & Family Debates | No Comments »

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