Minutes - March 2020

Monday, 23 March 2020
7:00 – 8:30 EST

Present: Barbara, Jim, John, Joe, Adam, Patricia, Belle, Monika
Regrets: Tracy
Absent: Tiffany, Ron

1. Approval of Agenda

  • Agenda approved.

2. Minutes

  • Unable to find the final version of the previous minutes.
  • ACTION ITEM: Joe will follow up

3. Treasurer’s report

  • Total of approximately $3,000 left in the account, approximately $500 for OBIN expenses, less $200 for Saul (technical services - sent today). Remaining funds for External Relations workshops.
  • Patricia: presently separating actual budget into three columns to keep separate tallies for each: OBIN, BICN, Sisters of Providence
  • Review of proposed Budget for 2019-2020 – already circulated; currently no change in plans based on COVID-19, will review in June/July. Discussion about publishing budget on the website. Agreement that amounts for general categories (incoming: donations from outside organizations, donations from individuals/membership and outgoing: reimbursement of expenses/administration/workshops) would be reasonable.
  • ACTION ITEM: Treasurer and Joe will discuss appropriate format to post on the website.

4. Update on status of our technology: 

  • Update received from Saul today; he is gaining valuable experience with NationBuilder through other jobs - indications positive.
  • ACTION ITEM: Joe and Saul to meet on Wednesday regarding status of website; will send links to C-Team if approved for testing.
  • Meeting with BICN coming up regarding coordination of websites.
  • Addresses from Mailchimp have been imported into NationBuilder with some reconciliation. NO new contacts to be entered into Mailchimp. Agreed to continue using Mailchimp at least for the current Newsletter.
  • Saul will be available to do some training in using Nation Builder. Several other people (Steven Clark, Sharon Zoschke) may also be available to help with maintaining the website. Possibly John could help with training everyone else.
  • ACTION ITEM: Update re website Wednesday/Thursday.

5. End of March Newsletter: Suggested Input deadline - March 26

  • Newsletter very important due to COVID-19
  • ACTION ITEMS: Going forward, content to be sent to Bob and cc’ed to Tiffany and Adam; goal to have a draft 1 week prior to newsletter being released. Plan to highlight a local group every month (Peterborough’s project on engaging local women’s groups this month). Plan to include link to Facebook page in newsletter for regular updates.
  • Important to have a lead article regarding COVID-19 and media and political attention on basic income. Emphasis on expertise that has been developed on how a basic income should be designed, cooperation that has happened between political parties in addressing pandemic.
  • ACTION ITEM: Adam to add COVID-19 to Newsletter.

6. OBIN response to COVID-19

  • Multiple recent articles supportive of basic income, including from National Post.
  • It was noted that communication in Canada relies on internet, television, telephone. Currently no protection for people to maintain their communication sources – should emphasize that this is another reason to consider an automated basic income process that does not rely on having to apply.
  • BICN is promoting an income-tested model. Package announced by government based on EI is outdated and will not help people who need it the most.
  • ACTION ITEM: Newsletter should take a direct stance on the Income tested model.
  • Income insecurity was not caused by COVID-19 and will continue to exist afterwards. OBIN should consider more substantial op-ed in the media such as the Toronto Star. It was noted that in 2018 Duclos stated that a Basic Income would come at some time.
  • ACTION ITEM: Adam Will draft a 250-word for an op-ed.

7. Cross-Province Check-up and schedule for next meetings

  • A lot of new people signed in; 22 people on the call – very wide-ranging and informative especially to people not aware of developments including letter coming from the lobby group. This is important for future calls especially given the cancellation of the North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) conference.
  • Agreed that the notice for future meetings should also give people a chance to ask for help or facilitate their work, opportunity to brain-storm with others.
  • ACTION ITEM: Jim-when asking for agenda items could ask specifically about anything people would like to see addressed, provide links to BICN resources
  • ACTION ITEM: Agreed next cross-country check-up: April 27 at 7 pm EST
  • ACTION ITEM: Jim will draft preliminary agenda and send it out for inclusion in the newsletter.

8. Round Table

  • Barbara: Women and Food Security sessions re-scheduled for the Fall; will keep dates and re-schedule as 1.5-2 hour Zoom calls, share why interested in participating to build the case for basic income. Lobby Day team will go ahead with planning for Oct 20 (recognizing it may need to be postponed). More and more interest from senators and MPs, continue building momentum – currently may be co-sponsored by a combination of different Parties. Letter written and will be sent through various networks, including to C-team members, to be sent to local MPs and relevant ministers. Will be added to Facebook page. John: requested that people 'cc' ontbasicincome@gmail.com when sending letters. Will send logins to C-team again.
  • BICN did not get CTG (?) grant – not due to content but because it is not a recognizable corporate entity.
  • A case for basic income for work now done – will be sent out for another review and then hopefully published.
  • Jim serving as judge for essay contest run by Basic Income Manitoba (“What would basic income mean to me?”), advertised in Winnipeg Free Press, deadline March 31, $5000 total in prizes, planning to carry on if significant number of submissions received. Categories for secondary and post-secondary students.
  • ACTION ITEM: Could consider expanding to other provinces if successful.
  • Jon noted that Basic Income Hamilton has put everything on hold for at least a month – all initiatives planned were longer-term. Delegations to the city on hold.
  • Patricia: Good opportunity to educate people and do outreach about basic income – many people don’t know anything about it. Concerns at university about students being asked to move out of residences and affording necessities.
  • ACTION ITEM: We should all be reaching out to other organizations willing to put OBIN link on their website.

9. Next meeting date and time

  • Monday, April 20 at 7:00 pm EST

10. Adjournment

  • Meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm