It’s time for a Basic Income for All!
On March 25th, 2020, Trudeau announced an emergency basic income of $2,000/month over the next 4 months for Canadians who lost income due to the crisis. The difference between this program and the list of government supports previously announced last week is clear evidence that the 30,000 people across all 338 ridings who signed our petition and emailed their MPs made a difference.
The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a single, unified program for nearly all Canadians whose incomes were affected by this crisis. It is designed to be simple, fast and streamlined – all features we asked for.
For details of the program, including who qualifies, please read the government’s announcement here and check the Canada Revenue Agency website in the coming days.
This is a step forward, but it’s not the unconditional basic income that we asked for.
The CERB on its own is not a stimulus that will help in our country’s economic recovery. It was only designed to cover working Canadians who saw their income fall because of the pandemic. We still do not know the precise conditions of the program, how accessible it will be or how it will function. As such, we will await the details of the program to determine how we can best advocate for the many Canadians that still need help right now.
Our pledge is to continue to work towards a basic income that covers everyone.
In the coming weeks and months, we will need all the help we can get to make that a reality. If you agree, please join us. Together we can make sure every Canadian is prepared to meet the challenges of the coming months and years.
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Large businesses can lean on loans and savings, but small and medium businesses, the backbone of the economy, have little to no backdrop. Universal basic income puts cash directly into the hands of customers, preserving the longevity of businesses and their ability to pay workers while ensuring the health of our economy. Businesses need revenue more than they need cheap loans.
An estimated 30-70% of Canadians will be infected with COVID-19. We know that basic income improves health outcomes, resulting in fewer hospitilizations, fewer visits to health practitioners, and reduced food insecurity. We need to free up our resources to maximize our ability to respond to this pandemic.
In 1944, the federal government introduced the Family Allowance basic income to stimulate postwar economic activity and avoid a recession. Today, the Canada Child Benefit, a basic income for families, drives $4 of economic activity for every $1 it costs. Every year, it grows our economy by $46 billion and contributes more than 450,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
To shift the conversation about basic income to recognize it as an economic need and economic opportunity, with the goal of seeing UBI implemented in Canada.
We want a Canada where everyone can pursue their potential and not be held back by basic material constraints or unsafe environments.
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