While disappointing, it may not be too surprising that a national Basic Income did not make it into the Federal Budget. Many needed programs, such as a basic income and affordable daycare, have been on the books for decades. In spite of evidence from Canada and around the world which clearly shows that a Basic Income is an investment rather than a cost, Government needs more convincing from us that we can’t afford poverty anymore! As you may know, a survey late last year showed that the majority of Canadians recognize the urgent need for this program. So, with your help, we renew our efforts to educate our MPs and MPPs, as well as all Ontarians, on why a Livable Basic Income is both economically viable and politically feasible. The Federal and Ontario elections are on the horizon...
Caterina, our Internal Relations Coordinator, is making good progress, but we need your help to expand the number of OBIN Affiliates across Ontario.
In response to our last Newsletter, we are delighted to announce that two new volunteers have joined our Team. Most critical at this time is Piers, who is taking on the responsibility of Website Content Manager. Our website has grown rapidly and it is time to do some spring cleaning. If you have ideas as to how we can make it more useful and user-friendly, please send us your suggestions!
We are coming to the end of the long process of creating forms. We do need to keep you informed to the degree you wish. An E-Blast will be coming your way in the not-too-distant future for updating your information.
Finally, we have received the Rob Evans video. He is a business person who has joined those who support a Basic Income, and he is keen to be an OBIN advocate. His video is in the process of being circulated to business individuals and organizations. Please feel free to use it as part of your advocacy activities.
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.
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 for Basic Income in local communities. The Ontario Basic Income Network seeks to do that by having OBIN Affiliates in each of Ontario's 124 Provincial ridings and 121 Federal ridings. Recently, we welcomed two new Affiliates in Ontario. Piers Eaton is from the riding of Toronto University-Rosedale, and David Danyluk is from Toronto Centre Riding. Welcome, Piers and David to the OBIN team!
OBIN Affiliates meet monthly to support each other as we do these activities. We have had a workshop on how to write effective Letters to the Editor about Basic Income, and we have other workshop ideas such as writing op-eds, writing advocacy letters and lobbying politicians. We are planning a Lobbying Day for Ontario MPPs. Our plan is to have a Breakfast meeting over Zoom with a keynote speaker, to which we would invite our MPP's, followed by a breakout session by locality where we would lobby our MPPs, seeking to understand what they know about Basic Income, and seeking to further their curiosity about Basic Income. We are also planning a session on how to use Social Media as a way to build political will.
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!
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.
The Basic Income Earth Network Network (BIEN) will be held from 18-21 August 2021. You can register for this conference here.
NABIG High School Essay Contest
Attached is an announcement of a high school essay contest on the Universal Basic Income. The deadline is May 19, 2021. Might you help us to disseminate this widely, starting with the high schoolers you have direct contact with? We are hoping to recognize the winning essay (and perhaps two runner ups) at the 19th Annual North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress taking place (virtually) from June 17-19 this year. There will be a $300 cash prize for the winning essay.
Please See The Call for High School Essay Submissions for details on the call and submission information.
Please share the opportunity with the teachers and high school students in your life!
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