National Youth Network Asks PM for a Basic Income

News Release: 5 May 2020 - Ottawa, ON

A network of Canadian youth from across the country are amplifying the call of 50 Senators today through a letter asking the Prime Minister and Cabinet to implement a Basic Income - also known as a Guaranteed Livable Income - as an evolution of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

The youth letter bolstering the Senators' position was authored by the Basic Income Canada Youth Network (BICYN) and the Canadian Council of Young Feminists - Senator McPhedran’s Youth Advisory. It was endorsed by more than 70 organizations and individuals from coast-to-coast-to-coast, including the Canadian Federation of Students and YWCA Canada.

Together, the letter’s endorsements represent nearly one million young people in Canada.

On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, more than four dozen members of the Red Chamber encouraged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “restructure the CERB as a minimum basic income [that] would quickly get support to Canadians in dire straits.”

“We are united with parliamentarians of all stripes in our belief that the CERB is a start in helping address the pandemic, but that it doesn’t go far enough to deal with issues facing youth in Canada in the medium- or long-term,” said Robert Kiley, Coordinator of BICYN.

BICYN serves as the youth wing of Canada’s foremost Basic Income organization, Basic Income Canada Network (itself a mix of local and provincial Basic Income groups), backed by prominent Canadians such as Hugh Segal and Dr. Evelyn Forget.

“Our network is a group of young professionals, students, and advocates partnering with other youth allies. We know that a basic income would fight poverty and social injustice, support entrepreneurship, provide the means to combat climate change, and streamline government. This is vital for folks under 35 who can no longer find work, who are drowning in student debt, and who are priced out of the housing and rental market. A basic income would dramatically improve the situation for Canada’s youth, especially the most vulnerable” concluded Chloe Halpenny, External Relations Officer and Vice-Chair of BICYN.

Read the BICYN letter to the Prime Minister here.

Media contact:
Chloe Halpenny
External Relations Officer and Vice-Chair - (613) 799-3638
Basic Income Canada Youth Network - [email protected]