OBIN Business Meeting Minutes
Saturday, September 26, 2020, 2:00 – 3:00 pm EST
Present: Jim (Mulvale), John, Chloe, Joe, Richard, Barbara, Toni, Lisa, Craig, Adam, Ally, Andrea, Belle, Carmen, Carol, Caroline, Caterina, Clarke, Elizabeth, Jim (Paddon), Jonathan, Kay, Kendal, Lance, Monika, Netta, Paul, Scott, Ron, Sharlene, Sheila, Teresa, Vienna, Walid and Kevin
Report of Activities Held During BI Week, September 14-20
John opened the virtual meeting by stating that Canada is a world leader in promoting basic income and that we are an important part of a national and international effort. He mentioned in this regard the recent two-hour meeting that the basic income team had with seventy parliamentarians. Jim highlighted the importance of Motion 46 and the visual arts webinar and Barbara made reference to the nearly 4,000 signatures that had been sent to MPs and senators concerning the case for women. Toni added that she had gone to fundraisers and markets and took every opportunity to speak to people about basic income.
Joe indicated that he and Kevin had distributed posters, business cards and the Statement of Principles throughout one of the main commercial streets of Ottawa as well as around parliament hill and was encouraged both by the support for basic income and the overall awareness of the program. Lisa added that the Hamilton BI team had used Facebook to deliver the message that new members were most welcome. Craig indicated that the Toronto committee had used a poem about BI, which had been written by George Elliot Clarke, former Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, well known in the literary community, as part of a presentation to a group of musicians and athletes.
Update from Basic Income Canada Network (Sheila Regehr)
Sheila began by emphasizing the growth and diversity of the basic income movement and the expansion of activity across different organizations. She noted the importance of BICN’s Policy Options report and political champions but expressed disappointment with the lack of support for basic income in the Throne Speech. BICN has been issuing regular newsletters, responding to increased media requests, and engaging in a wide range of collaborative activities, such as with women’s organizations, Elaine Power on CERB stories, the Pearson Institute, Tamarack and others for webinars, Black Lives Matter, LeadNow and environmental groups. As NABIG plans that included strategizing for the future had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, and because so much has changed, BICN is holding a virtual national forum October 8 bringing together representatives of regional basic income organizations and others to explore future direction. An announcement went out September 25 seeking nominations to the BICN Board (deadline October 15) along with notice that the AGM will be held on October 28.
Update from Coalition Canada: Basic Income – revenue de base (Toni Pickard, Coordinator)
Toni described Coalition Canada, founded last November. Members are a cross country working group of experienced BIG activists, working with experts in various fields (Eg. Food security, criminal justice, tax and finance). We come from local groups and Provincial networks in the Yukon and nine provinces, and from BICN and BICYN. Our current objective is to get the Federal Government moving on basic income. So far, our projects, chosen collectively and carried out collaboratively, are: raising federal awareness of the PEI initiatives to bring In a province wide BIG program; urging MPs to partner with PEI to create that program; organizing a (necessarily remote) Federal lobbying effort for October 20-22, to put forward the principles of the basic income we want, urging them to support a Federal commitment to develop a national BIG program consonant with those principles; and, creating a pro-active communications strategy.
John reported that we had sent 1,100 letters to MPs and senators promoting basic income, that we had worked with senator Kim Pate and with MPs and senators from all parties as well as anti-poverty groups. We have developed a smorgasbord of communication with the result that we have come to know each other better and to work more effectively on local and provincial projects. One example is that we are working cooperatively with PEI, Nova Scotia, Calgary, Vancouver, Ontario and Saskatchewan on public health projects.
Barbara reported that our Conservative sponsor is Bruce Stanton, Speaker of the House, with the result that we have had amazing results. Adam reported that we have been very active on social media, especially Facebook where we completed a campaign on basic income. He expressed the hope that, going forward, we would have a greater presence on both Facebook and Instagram. Joe recommended members review the website report on the AGM page and note the amazing work Sharon had done. He applauded Saul for creating the new website and Sharon, who, by her efforts, had produced a well organized and up-to-date website. He encouraged people to use it and feed back articles and comments.
Richard indicated that in future the fiscal year would be defined as the period from September 1 – August 31. He proposed as well that we need to focus on raising funds and recommended that we increase membership dues from the current $ 15.00 per year.
Richard submitted the Statement of Operations and our Financial Position as of August 31. For the period September 1st. 2019 to August 31st. 2020, the statement of operations indicates revenues of $ 2,364.60, with expenses of $ 3,002.63 for a deficit of $632.61. Due to some externally restricted funds, the actual net available to OBIN for regular operations at August 31st., 2020 is $ 904.48. This compliments the need for a membership drive and fundraising activities.
Joe emphasized the importance of minutes on the website to keep affiliates up to date on OBIN activities. The C-Team goal is to have the approved Minutes on site within a week of our meetings.
Jim referred to other items on the agenda that we would not have time to address, such as the Statement of Principles, and proposed that we distribute them to all basic income members. Jim and Joe also invited new people to play an active role in the organization and the C-Team.
The meeting ended at 3:00 pm.