Guaranteed Basic Income for Canada During COVID

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We face two threats – one from the virus, and one is economic. The virus is, in some ways, a known thing – it is an infectious illness, causes deadly respiratory illness in older folks, and bleach, soap and social distancing are things that we know about, we know their effectiveness and you can do that today.

The economic threat is just as serious. By economic threat we don’t mean your stock portfolio, but your ability to eat, pay your rent. We need a way to respond to this pandemic that is, just like soap and bleach, known about, well studied and something we could do today.

Canada’s National Guaranteed Basic Income is that thing. A studied to death policy document with 40 years of Canadian scholarship behind it. It has two central features – everyone is eligible, and it provides a single clear floor of income to survive. It does not depend on anything. Musician, writer, potter, grad student, drifter, parent, no matter. Everyone (or everyone below a certain income) qualifies. What it promises is a floor through which no one falls; a monthly cheque, no questions asked. The 18 year old on the street, the 60 year old adult. Everyone qualifies. This puts money in their pockets to pay rent, etc.

You can expect to hear about lowering interest rates, injections of cash into the stock market, and other government economic policy gestures, but unless we all give this a name – National Guaranteed Basic Income – and call for it from every corner of society, the government is constitutionally inclined to throw their money at Bay Street. If we are to survive this pandemic as a country, we must do more.

What we need is a storm of voices from Canada’s cultural leaders, our social leaders, religious and atheist, left and right; calling for this one thing - the National Guaranteed Basic Income as the other half of Canada’s public health response to COVID.

To read more, see the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report:…/bl…/news/Guaranteed_Basic_Income .

Let’s start to imagine how we can make some noise. Friends, friends of friends,

Can we build this future, today?

Today: Pierre is counting on you

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