Basic Income and Poverty

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness Campaign - Recovery for All

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness is a national movement of individuals, organizations and communities working together to end homelessness in Canada.


"Alleviating poverty is key to preventing homelessness. A national guaranteed minimum income will ensure those in greatest need have minimum financial resources to help them meet their basic needs and prevent homelessness when times are tough."

By joining this grassroots movement, you are helping to end homelessness in Canada once and for all. We have a plan. It is affordable. It will create jobs. And it will work.

*** Read the Six Point Plan to End Homelessness in Canada and sign up to support the movement here.

The Horrors of Social Assistance in Ontario

*** Article coming soon

Main points covered in article:

The mental stress experienced by almost all recipients.

The high level of administration and complexity of rules

  1. Based on the above, the high cost of administering the programs.
  2. How work is discouraged meaning lost income and tax revenue
  3.  social workers act as policepersons and are also stressed
  4. A fixed rate for claw back of earnings makes no sense in the computer age
  5. How the system prejudices businesses and landlords against low income people
  6. Wy support systems are still required for low income and disabled person
  7. Why social workers may need retraining to at as social workers.
  8. Why a new software application is needed for a BI to simplify payments and claw backs that is less prone to errors and delays and paternal oversight.

basic income plus logo

Dear ______________,

COVID-19 realities have exposed deep gaps and shortfalls in our social structures. Prior to the pandemic several provincial governments had made targeted austerity cuts, and some continue to make cuts (largely unnoticed) during this crisis.

A future post-pandemic reality situated in austerity measures is a terrifying thought. We know what has happened in the past and we must join to fight for a better future for the majority of Canadians. It is time for the left, for lack of a better term, to take united and organized action to ensure this doesn’t happen.

We are calling this movement Basic Income Plus and it includes the following 5 focuses for us to start working together.

  1. Basic Income
  2. Green Economy
  3. Affordable housing
  4. Universal Pharmacare
  5. Public Enterprises for the People

The 5 issues included here work in tandem for the collective good. There should be something on this list that everyone can get behind and start organizing. While divided we barely get noticed, fighting together for these broad brushstrokes will work toward the kind of nation we all want to live in. We’ll push for the right implementation and the right details as we get closer to seeing results. For now, we need to demand policy shifts and get political will to move swiftly toward these ideals.

On Sept. 19, 2020, 36 cities across Canada have already signed up to march for basic income sponsored by the 100 CEOs in favour of a basic income. We believe that by marching united for Basic Income Plus we will provide an umbrella in which unions, community service organizations, and concerned citizens can unite to make sufficient noise to be heard – not only about basic income, but these additional progressive issues, too.

If you want to find out if your city or town is already signed up, contact Tracey at UBI Works will provide masks, sanitizers and material to all organizers. If you are in Kawartha Lakes, Kingston, Hamilton or Toronto, then organizing for the march has already started.

The worst thing that can happen is that we can't march due to COVID-19 - but we will at least have connected and will be able to make swift progress when we can be more active again. The best thing that can happen is that our collective action shifts political will.

If you are interested in discussing this further, then contact Joli Scheidler-Benns at For more information click this link: . You can also follow along on Facebook here: . We are non-partisan and don't represent a political agenda. Rather we are concerned citizens who want to have a better future and more equitable Canada. I look forward to talking further about this soon!


Joli Scheidler-Benns

*** Watch Joli in conversation with the hosts of UBI Community Chat here.

The Cost of Poverty in Toronto - November 2016 Report


"This paper is a conservative analysis of the cost of poverty in 2016 in Canada’s largest city. Today’s costs have climbed considerably due to the rapid increase in the cost of accommodation. Poverty costs us all. This report estimates the cost of inaction. It estimates how much more we may be spending simply because poverty exists.

Poverty expands the cost of health care, policing burdens and depresses educational outcomes. This in turn reduces productivity and labour force flexibility, life span and economic expansion and social progress.   

Estimations of the cost of poverty in other cities can be approximated by using 2.7% of GDP for whatever catchment is being used.

We all pay taxes, even when we are poor. As income increases, so do the share of taxes paid. However, we forget the power that paying taxes has on people and communities and we can change for the better the social and economic conditions for others."


John Stapleton is one of the foremost experts on poverty in Canada. A Metcalf Innovation Fellow since 2006, The Cost of Poverty in Toronto report (November 2016) is the result of six months of collaborative work.

John worked for the Ontario Government for 28 years in the areas of Social Assistance Policy and Operations and was Research Director for the Task Force in five anti-poverty groups. He sits on federal Minister Duclos’ Advisory Committee on Poverty Reduction, the Minister of Community and Social Services Advisory Group on Social Assistance Reform and Toronto’s Advisory Group on Poverty Reduction.

Download the Report