In October the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) released a position paper recommending a Universal Basic Income (uBIG) to ensure no person in Canada lives in poverty; bolster the Canadian economy; and put an end to income assistance systems that are often inefficient and unkind.
“The cost of current income support programs in Canada is close to $200 billion per year, but are piece-meal, often stigmatizing, vary from province to province, and are ultimately unsuccessful at breaking the cycle of poverty,” said CASW President, Jan Christianson-Wood. “It’s very easy to blame the individual, but when you take a closer look, many income assistance systems actually trap people in poverty. It’s time to change that, and move from the idea of a ‘safety-net,’ to an equitable floor on which we can all stand,” stated Christianson-Wood. “What makes uBIG special is that it doesn’t use a clawback – people should be empowered to work, while knowing they have a stable support system behind them.”
“uBIG isn’t a panacea – but it is the next piece of the puzzle. We have the means in Canada to lift everyone out of poverty, and we need to act on the knowledge that poverty isn’t a personal problem, it’s a systemic one,” concluded Christianson-Wood. Click here to read the report.