CERB and other coronavirus benefits won’t last forever.

In an unemployment crisis unlike any since the 1930s, a guaranteed living is a tempting idea – if we can figure out how to make it effective and affordable in the long run. Here are some of our options...

There are few left alive who remember pain like this, a pain not seen since the Depression. Millions thrown out of work. Entire industries shuttered, storefronts dark and schools empty. And fear: of getting sick, of losing your job and your home and your future. Fear that we have entered a long, dark time. The Black Twenties.

But some also find reason for hope. For decades, politicians and planners have argued over whether Canada should replace the social safety net of federal employment insurance (EI) and provincial welfare programs with a guaranteed basic income aimed at lifting all Canadians out of poverty. During the pandemic, more or less by accident, this has happened.

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