Basic Income

Kitchener City Hall

Andrea Kauppinen and John Green of Basic Income Waterloo Region
Andrea Kauppinen and John Green of Basic Income Waterloo Region

Today is the Provincial Basic Income Pilot Consultation at Kitchener City Hall.

Done right, universal basic income would be awesome.

The provincial government is looking for 3 places in Ontario in which to conduct the pilot program.  Waterloo Region be one would be excellent, as Andrea Kauppinen and John Green of Basic Income Waterloo Region will tell you.  The more people who come out to support this, the better. Basic income would replace other social subsidies, it should improve your circumstances. Done well it can take the stigma out of the social safety net and even eliminate poverty.

If you haven’t, you should consider attending.  Register here:

You can make an online submission until January 31, 2017

“Basic income is an idea which provides a different approach to income security and reducing poverty,” the statement said. “It’s important we hear as many views as possible to ensure we get this right.”

The ministry says it’s particularly interested in thoughts about how the pilot program is designed, including who should be eligible, which communities to include, and how it will be evaluated.

“What they’re doing is trying to collect information in order to build a position. It’s very difficult (for us) to take a firm position at this point because we don’t actually know what the province is going to end up doing,” Bartholomew-Saunders said. “They’re collecting information to determine what they’re going to be doing.”

— Kitchener Post: Public invited to have say on basic guaranteed income

Find out more on the province’s page:

And Basic Income Waterloo is a good resource:

PS: I almost forgot the details (in Whoa!Canada’s shiny new calendar)
Basic Income Consultation

When:  Fri, 13 January, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Where:  Kitchener City Hall,
200 King St W, Kitchener,
            ON N2G 4G7, Canada (map)
June 2016 Basic Income Waterloo Region discussion at Queen Street Commons, Kitchener
June 2016 Basic Income Waterloo Region discussion at Queen Street Commons, Kitchener

4 thoughts on “Basic Income

  1. Segal’s report already clearly specifies they will not even consider testing any form of no-means-tested unconditional #basicincome, which is the only form known to work, and in the 17 months since the first announcement we haven’t seen even the slightest budge from the plan outlined in his no-discussion paper, and repeatedly specific details (like 75% of StatsCan’s own Low Income measure) given to the press as if it was a done deal, so I really find it hard to get excited about any sort of public consultation.

    I try not to be cynical, and I wish it were otherwise, but I don’t see Wynne abandoning the Ontario caste system. To even propose 75% of the LOW measure is already to admit how important they find it to “keep the poor in their proper place” and insure the poor can still be leveraged into doing the dirty work, only now, with Wynne-Segal Welfare2.0, they can offer the immigrant single mom the same low wage, but with reduced hours, knowing she has no choice but to say thank-you ma’am and fall in line.

    I still hope to be completely proven wrong.

    • My concern us that the idea is to save money, not address poverty.

      The problem with not doing it right is that it won’t reap the real benefits. In our winner-take-all system, subsequent governments don’t continue good work done by their predecessors (why #Mincome hit a brick wall) but in this case, if the LPO does it wrong, they can look forward to the NDP & Greens (at least…maybe even Conservatives) campaigning on doing Basic Income right.

      But I hope we’re wrong, too, because done right it would be amazing.

      • Considering we see neither the NDP nor the GP officially calling the governments out on the flaws in their welfare-upgrade plans, I rather doubt we’ll see anything but rhetoric come election time. The Pirate Party of Canada in fact had published their proposal just prior to Elizabeth May coming out with remarkably the same plan (which is OK, it’s an obvious approach and even if she got the idea from us, we put it online so that people WOULD steal it! 🙂 ) only now that there are plans in the media that clearly are not UBI, where is May? Is the media just not covering what they’re saying? I’m seeing nothing from either of them gaining any traction on social media, yet plenty from Australia, Scotland, Finland, France …

        • Yes, I believe you’re correct the Pirate Party announced its Basic Income policy before the Greens, at least the PPoC was where I first heard of Mincome. The GPC had an excellent suite of interconnected policy, with Guaranteed Livable Income (the GPC version of basic income) at it’s heart (re-commitment to (truly) Universal Health Care, Universal Pharma Care, Universal Post Secondary Education, National Housing Strategy) which enough Canadians didn’t vote for in the 2015 election.

          Instead, those voters who voted failed to empower the GPC beyond re-electing Elizabeth May. Similarly, voters withdrew a great deal of support from the NDP, decimating the party’s presence in Parliament. And sadly, no PPoC candidates have yet been elected to Parliament. There are a great many issues before Canadians, and the smaller parties have more limited resources than is good for Canada. I appreciate that the Green Party has a better opportunity than the PPoC to raise issues in the House and even the press with a sitting MP, but at the same time Ms. May has an extraordinary amount of work on her plate, not just as the MP for Saanich Gulf Islands, but as the leader (and only representative for) the entire Green Party across Canada, and what she does accomplish is pretty incredible. Seems to me both Ms. May and the NDP have applied themselves quite strenuously to the issue I think most important: electoral reform.

          Since Confederation, the big parties have rigged the rules against small parties; even when elected, small parties and Independents are routinely excluded from full Parliamentary participation. This is unlikely to change substantially unless Canadians catch onto the fact we don’t have to vote for the usual suspects, we just need to forget about strategic voting, and get the other 40% of eligible voters out to the polls. My own thinking is that the most important issue before Parliament continues to be electoral reform. As we’ve seen today, one of the worst things about winner-take-all politics is policy lurch.

          Until the smaller parties at least get a level playing field that they might have the wherewithal to represent their constituents properly, how they choose to allocate the limited resources at their disposal is up to them. At this point Basic Income is not a priority for the Federal Liberals. If the Ontario Provincial Liberals go ahead with it, they might just rehabilitate the Wynne Government enough to get re-elected; if that’s the case, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Feds follow suit.

          But there were at least 2 past (and possibly future) Green candidates at the Waterloo Region Basic Income Pilot Consulation, including Bob Jonkman here:

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