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Links to various Basic Income and Related websites
Learn about Basic Income
OBIN's C-Team members, Dr. Tracy Smith-Carrier and Dr. James Mulvale, have developed a clear and easy-to-follow overview of Basic Income. It's a perfect introduction to share with anyone who wants practical information on what Basic Income in Canada could look like. Read Basic Income 101: Values, Methods, and Costs.
For a more advanced dive into Basic Income, the different ways it can work, and the socio-economic issues that underpin policy development, we highly recommend the Basic Income Canada Network Primers.
BICN has also released an important document detailing the successes and failures of Ontario's short-lived Basic Income pilot program. Read Signposts to Success: Pilot Participants on Ontario's Basic Income Experiment
Coalition Canada engaged in a Federal Lobby Week in October 2020. Their basic income advocates held Zoom meetings with more than 70 Members of Parliament and Senators from every political party and ridings across Canada. There are ongoing efforts but, they have released a FAQ in the meantime that you can read here.
MPP and MP Engagement Guide
This simple, one-page resource shows how to effectively engage with your MPP or MP. Building relationships, finding common ground, and working together is vital to making Basic Income in Ontario a reality. If you want to make a direct impact in your community, a healthy relationship with your MPP is a great way to start.
The Case for Basic Income Series
The Case for Basic Income Series raises the issues of how a Basic Income model of Social Support can make a difference to sectors. For example Work, Health, Food Security, the Justice System. The series was developed for a multitude of reasons: addressing issues related to Basic Income through the knowledge prism of sectors; building networks of Basic Income supports in sectors. Together, these sectors represent building blocks of our community and indicate that sectors are prepared to 'pull together' on the need for a Basic Income model.
For each ‘Case’, a team is put together representing basic income advocates and sector experts. The team creates briefing notes, statements, and build outreach within the sector.
The development of sector-based expertise is important! This is how we show our elected officials and policy leaders that we have the evidence to support the implementation of a basic income.
The Manitoba Story
A film entitled The Manitoba Story is available to you at no cost, and could be the focus of a meeting in your community. The film describes a basic income experiment called “Mincome” that took place in Dauphin, MB in the 1970s. Mincome changed the lives of participants in very significant ways. These changes have been documented in research by Dr. Evelyn Forget and others.
In The Manitoba Story, Dauphin residents tell their own stories in personal and powerful ways. The film is 20 minutes in length, and can be used with tools to animate discussion as part of a “BIG Experience.”
If you are interested in showing The Manitoba Story in your community, or if you'd like to organize a similar community event featuring speakers and audio-visual resources, please contact us.
Basic Income: Some Policy Options for Canada
A policy paper released recently by the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) demonstrates that it is possible for Canada to have a Basic Income that is progressively structured and progressively funded.
Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) asked a team to model three options that are fair, effective and feasible in Canada.
All three options that were examined were based on a benefit of $22,000 per year for an individual. The report details a number of assumptions about how the options will work including intergovernmental relations and administrative matters.
All options demonstrate a significant effect that Basic Income can have on poverty and economic security. Poverty is nearly completely eliminated and the lowest-income families see their disposable income increase by more than 350 percent in all three models.
It is a question of priorities the report’s co-author Sheila Regehr, chair of the network, told the Toronto Star.
“It is clear from child and seniors’ benefits that Basic Income works for many Canadians already. The federal government’s priority now must be to take leadership to make it work for everybody,” she said.
The authors of the report, Sheila Regehr and Chandra Pasma both have an extensive background in the poverty eradication field.
Sheila Regehr is a founding member of the Basic Income Canada Network and former Executive Director of the National Council of Welfare. Her 29 years of federal public service spanned front-line work, policy analysis and development, international relations and senior management, with a focus on improving fairness and equality, and on gender and race in particular.
Chandra Pasma is a policy analyst and specializes in issues of income security, poverty, and precarious work. She has worked in politics, for non-profits, and for one of Canada’s largest labour unions. As a long-time advocate for Basic Income, Chandra frequently writes and speaks on the relationship between Basic Income and employment.
Download the Policy Report
Download the 4-page Summary of the Policy Report
Listen to a webinar from the Tamarack Institute - Sheila and Chandra discussing Ending Poverty: Making Basic Income Feasible in Canada
How Bills are Passed
A useful thing to understand when trying to advocate for any policy/legislation is to understand the basics of how a bill gets passed. Knowing this allows advocates to work and apply pressure at the point at which there is maximum leverage and importance. However, the process is not always easy to understand, so here we are including a presentation and accompanying notes from Disability Without Poverty in which they spoke with Senator Brent Cotter about how bills are passed. We hope this will be a useful resource for anyone trying to understand this process.
You can also find an accompanying PowerPoint presentation by clicking here.
Academic Articles by Jim Mulvale, UBI Advocate
Dr. Jim Mulvale is a faculty member in Social Work at the University of Manitoba. He is active with the Basic Income Canada Network, Basic Income Manitoba, and the Co-facilitator for the Ontario Basic Income Network. He is (co-)author of the following works:
1. Mulvale, J. (2019). Social-Ecological Transformation and the Necessity of Universal Basic Income. Social Alternatives, 38(2), 39-46.
This article explores academic literature on the relationship between Universal Basic Income and ecological sustainability. It points to the necessity of UBI and other public policy measures in addressing environmental crises such as climate change.
2. Leah Hamilton & James P. Mulvale. (2019) “Human Again”: The (Unrealized) Promise of Basic Income in Ontario. Journal of Poverty, 23:7, 576-599, DOI: 10.1080/10875549.2019.1616242
This article summarizes the history of last-resort income support (social assistance) in Ontario. It also reports on qualitative interviews with individuals who left social assistance to receive a basic income during a pilot project conducted in Ontario in 2017-18. The article documents the positive results of basic income compared to traditional social assistance. These good outcomes included improvements for basic income recipients in nutrition, health, housing stability, and social connections, and an enhanced ability to do personal financial planning.
3. Entry on “Universal Basic Income” in Oxford Bibliographies: Social Work. (2020).
Oxford Bibliographies: Social Work is an online resource that provides brief introductions and annotated references for various topics related to research and practice in social work. This entry surveys academic and popular literature on Universal Basic Income. Headings include:
- the history of the idea of UBI
- program design and delivery options
- UBI-like programs
- justifications for UBI
- objections to UBI
- UBI and women
- UBI pilot projects and experiments
- organizations that research investigate and promote UBI
Note: The above articles are usually available through University Libraries. If you do not have access to such a Library, feel free to contact Jim Mulvale at [email protected]
Full Contact information:
James P. Mulvale, MSW, MA, PhD
Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work
St. Paul’s College, Room 227, 70 Dysart Road
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2M6 CANADA
Phone: (+1) 204 474 6963
Implementing a Basic Income Guarantee in Canada: Prospects and Problems
Robin Boadway is the Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Economic Theory at Queen's University, and a Fellow of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations. He studied at RMC, Oxford and Queen's and has been a visiting scholar at Universities of Chicago, Oxford and Louvain.
Abstract: We outline the case for a Basic Income Guarantee and characterize the alternative forms it could take. We argue that implementing such a program in the Canadian federation should involve collaboration between federal and provincial governments, with each level having some discretion over the size of the guarantee within their jurisdictions.
We draw on tax harmonization arrangements in Canada for guidance about how such collaboration could be managed. We propose a Basic Income Guarantee model for Canada that is sufficient to move all persons out of poverty, that is implemented through the tax system, and that is affordable. Our proposal is virtually self-financing in the sense that it redistributes existing federal and provincial transfers and does not require any tax increases. We illustrate our basic income guarantee program using simulations based on Statistics Canada’s SPSD model. Keywords: basic income guarantee, refundable tax credits, negative income tax JEL Classification: D63, H24, I38†
Prepared for the Collaborative Applied Research in Economics initiative, Department of Economics, Memorial University, for presentation November 14, 2018.
Read the article in its entirety here.
Essay by Guy Standing (October 2018)
The Precariat: Today's Transformative Class?
Guy Standing is a Professorial Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences; co-founder and now honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN); and a Council member of the Progressive Economy Forum. His books include A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens, The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay, Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth, and Battling Eight Giants: Basic Income Now.
Since 1980, the global economy has undergone a dramatic transformation, with the globalization of the labor force, the rise of automation, and—above all—the growth of Big Finance, Big Pharma, and Big Tech. The social democratic consensus of the immediate postwar years has given way to a new phase of capitalism that is leaving workers further behind and reshaping the class structure. The precariat, a mass class defined by unstable labor arrangements, lack of identity, and erosion of rights, is emerging as today’s “dangerous class.” As its demands cannot be met within the current system, the precariat carries transformative potential. To realize that potential, however, the precariat must awaken to its status as a class and fight for a radically changed income distribution that reclaims the commons and guarantees a livable income for all. Without transformative action, a dark political era looms.
Read the essay here.
Debating the Precariat: Author's Response