December 2020 Newsletter

Ontario Basic Income Network

This is a special Newsletter to bring you up to date on what has been happening and share thoughts about your C-Team's key priorities.

First off though, working in collaboration with BICN, BICYN, and with Coalition Canada and the Lobby group, much has been accomplished in engaging MPs and Senators across Canada. During Lobby Days, they were given more evidence-based information on a national basic income and why it should be a component of the Pandemic Recovery Plan. From the Prime Minister’s recent statement, however, it is clear that much work remains to be done!

C-Team priorities for 2021:

The goal OBIN set last year to greatly expand our dialogue with organisations and individuals in Ontario has been less successful than we had hoped. With your help, however, we have some clear ideas about what we must do in the immediate future. There are two exciting activities underway that should significantly assist us in reaching more people.

1. The first project is to create video footage to show the business community why a basic income is in their best interest. While the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has now endorsed a basic income, there is still a great deal of education needed to debunk the many myths. After researching the subject, a small-business owner is now convinced that income security is needed now and why it is logical for business to support it, particularly for workers. With your financial help, we plan to create video footage so that he can share his experience with others. To make this happen, your C-Team has agreed that all donations made on the website between now and the end of January will be targeted to this initiative. A professional video of a few minutes costs about $5,000. The production person we are working with is supportive of a basic income and has agreed to take on this initiative for much less. We wish to create a number of 30- to 50-second videos about basic income from the perspective of a businessperson. The final product(s), i.e. footage available, will depend on the funds we raise. We have allocated $500 and plan to publish the first footage in January. Some of us have already committed funds for additional footage. Can you please help to expand this outreach by making a generous donation today? We have set a target of $5,000 for this campaign. If we collect more money than we need for this project, additional funds will not go into general revenue but will be targeted for other OBIN special projects.

2. The second initiative is to collect more information on those interested in supporting and advocating for a basic income in Ontario. We need to expand the collection of relevant data to allow us to communicate with you more effectively. While your C-Team is entirely voluntary, finding technical support has been much more difficult. Compounding the problem is that we would like them to volunteer their expertise and time. We have recently been lucky in finding a person who will help in this endeavour but we would like to provide an honorarium for the individual.

Internal Happenings

Also on the positive side and relevant to this, we now have a new Internal Relations Coordinator who is keen to expand our dialogue with you to create new, active, and effective affiliates. Your suggestions are welcome but we believe the first step is to find a constituent in each Ontario Federal Riding who is interested in promoting basic income. Remember, Ontario holds 121 of the seats in Parliament! Once we have all of the Ridings covered, we would like to help build affiliates in all communities across Ontario.

Unfortunately, we are having to say au revoir to our Web Content Manager. Sharon has made our website a great source for finding out what is trending in basic income and she has added numerous articles on basic income and its importance for a sustainable economy. Her efforts have been crucial to us over the last year when we changed our hosting website and created a new look and feel for OBIN's website. The C-Team cannot thank her enough for her dedication and hard work and we wish her every success in her new endeavours. Since Sharon will be leaving at the end of December, we are in urgent need of someone to take over from her in the Content Manager position. If you or anyone that you know would be interested in this volunteer position, please see the criteria we are looking for and the email address to submit your application.

Speculation has it that Canada will be facing an election in the not too distant future. We hope to provide OBIN affiliates with the necessary information to be able to advocate and press candidates to commit to supporting the introduction of a national basic income. Together, we can do it!

As always, we will continue to keep you informed of our financial status and ongoing projects via our monthly Minutes.

It has been an interesting year on many fronts but we are all too aware that it has been a very stressful year for most people in Ontario. We firmly believe that it could have been much less stressful if we had a basic income program in place supporting individuals when they need it.

For those of you who have lost loved ones to the pandemic, our hearts go out to you and we grieve with you. With the vaccine being distributed, we hope that the number of victims is reduced to zero in a very short time. Until the vaccine has been widely administered, we urge you all to pay attention to your local public health officials and to stay safe, keep your distance, and wear a mask.

In spite of the tough year, your C-Team sincerely hopes that you have something to celebrate over the holiday season that is upon us. With your help and additional pressure from our allies, we hope to add a basic income to the things to celebrate this time next year.

Thank you all once again for your support over the past year and I'm sure that we are all hoping for a far superior 2021.

Joe and John

Ontario Basic Income Network