April 2021 Newsletter

Ontario Basic Income Network

Fellow Advocates,

Facilitator Corner

It’s been a busy month for your Coordinating Team. We have started the process of establishing new Affiliates as you will see later in this Newsletter. With over a hundred provincial electoral districts, we do have a ways to go but with your help, we can do it!

You will have seen from our News page that a number of major Arts organisations have joined together to advocate for a basic income and we welcome and appreciate their involvement.

Previously, we told you that we are working on the forms for collecting data. The purpose of data collection is to help us better focus our interactive dialogue with all of our Affiliates. While significant progress has been made, more remains to be done. Our busy NationBuilder volunteers continue to help when they can find time in their busy schedules but this work will take some time yet.

John is being kept more than busy as Co-facilitator and interim Content Manager plus involvement in a number of committees. If your schedule isn't quite as busy and you feel that you could help, please feel free to contact us and we will try to involve you with something that will keep you interested and engaged. As mentioned before, there are other areas where you can contribute to help make a basic income a reality. Please refer to last month’s Newsletter.

Are you looking to keep up with the latest information on basic income? Like and follow us on Facebook! We regularly post news, resources, and events on the Basic Income movement across Canada.

OBIN Affiliates

We are very pleased to welcome two new OBIN Affiliates this month:

  • Carmen Grant is an actor who is starting an OBIN-Affiliate in Stratford, Ontario. She is joined by Ron Hikel, the Research Co-coordinator for OBIN, who also lives in Stratford. Ron negotiated, set up and managed the Canada-Manitoba experiment (Mincome) from 1972 to 1977!
  • Maddie Skidmore is a Project Contributor for the Basic Income Canada Youth Network and is starting an OBIN Affiliate in Etobicoke, Ontario. Maddie is a strong believer in social change and plans to start writing letters-to-the-Editor and articles about basic income. She is also helping out with organising our Provincial Lobby Days.

Are you interested in becoming an advocate for basic income in your community?  In order to make basic income a reality in Canada, we need to build political will in local communities. The Ontario Basic Income Network seeks to do that by having OBIN Affiliates in each of Ontario's 124 electoral districts. 

Building political will involves leveraging the following activities that are all centred around building relationships:

  • Lobbying your MPPs and MPs
  • Sending Letters-to-the-Editor, op-eds and press releases to local media
  • Community leader relationships
  • Grassroots outreach
  • Growing your local basic income chapter

OBIN Affiliates meet monthly to support each other as we do these activities. In collaboration with the Basic Income Canada Youth Network (BICYN), we have had a workshop on how to write effective Letters-to-the-Editor about basic income. We have other workshops planned for writing op-eds and lobbying politicians.

We are also in the initial stages of planning a Lobby Day for Ontario MPPs. Our tentative plan is to have a breakfast meeting over Zoom with a keynote speaker and invited MPPs. Breakfast would be followed by breakout sessions organised by localities. This is when we would lobby our MPPs by seeking to understand what they know about basic income and attempting to further their curiosity about basic income.

If you are interested in becoming an OBIN Affiliate or learning more about Lobby Day, please contact me.  We'd love to have you as part of the team!


We have added new articles to the Basic Income and the Arts page and welcome the endorsements that have come in recently including the Toronto Arts Council, the Guelph Arts Council, and the Canadian Musicians' Coalition.

URGENTLY NEEDEDContent Management team (one or more people depending on the time and expertise available). This is to keep our website current and to add new information that is useful to affiliates for advocating.


  • Special Project Coordinator: They will help with coordinating special events, rallies, the AGM, etc. This is not a demanding job but important!

  • Communications/Marketing Coordinator: They will be active in promoting the adoption of a basic income. OBIN needs to expand its collaboration with other like-minded organisations. This person would also work with our Promotion and Communications Coordinator. 2021 is going to be a critical year in reaching more of the public and all levels of government. A federal election is looming and our next provincial election will not be far behind.

Please call or email any of the Coordinators or contact Joe or John at [email protected]


The larger basic income groups are gearing up for their annual/biennial conferences for 2021. If you have the time, attending some or all of both of them will be an educational and thought-provoking experience and help spur your enthusiasm and engagement.

The North American Basic Income Guarantee Conference (NABIG) will be held from 17-19 June 2021. Registration for the conference is at the bottom of the article.

The Basic Income Earth Network Network (BIEN) will be held from 18-21 August 2021. Registration for this conference is not open yet but the link has a Call for Papers if any of you have any interest.


The federal government has announced the date for the budget - 19 April 2021. 

That only leaves a couple of weeks to push the government to make the investments needed to end income insecurity in Canada. If we are going to emerge successfully from the pandemic economic turndown, a Basic Income program, starting immediately,  should be included in the Budget  Speech.

A great many Members of Parliament are supportive or open to talking about basic income. Personal contact from constituents is the most persuasive method of informing them of their constituents' wishes. Please take a moment in the next few days to send a tweet and, if you can,  make a quick phone call to your MP.

In Closing

Again, we do appreciate hearing from you! Ideas, comments, etc. are needed to fuel our enthusiasm.

Please contact any of the Coordinators or Joe or John at [email protected]

As always, we will continue to keep you informed of our progress via our monthly Minutes.

Joe and John

Ontario Basic Income Network