Last month, the City of Winnipeg sent out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for contractors to remove waste, including temporary shelters, from public land. This action will effectively displace and traumatize many of our citizens who are already experiencing immense poverty and marginalization.
In a letter to the editor in the Winnipeg Free Press, Paul Walsh wrote that this call for proposals is not a plan for fighting poverty, but rather deals with optics and not root causes. Don’t fight poverty by punishing the poor, he said.
Under the former Liberal government, Hamilton, Thunder Bay, and Lindsay were test cities for a basic-income pilot. Eligible citizens were offered a guaranteed annual income. The idea was to check on how the participants’ lives changed after three years, then decide whether to take the plan provincewide. Subsequently, the new PC government cancelled the pilot. The Agenda welcomes Evelyn Forget, who’s spent four decades researching this subject, much of which is captured in her new book, “Basic Income for Canadians : The Key to a Healthier, Happier, More Secure Life for All.”
“The number of Canadians who are $200 or less away from financial insolvency at the months end jumped to 46% from 40% in the previous quarter.” Listen to what Paul has to say on basic income in this CJOB interview held in January 2019:
BASIC INCOME MANITOBA INVITES YOU
HUMANS OF BASIC INCOME – a portrait series by
photographer Jessie Golem.
TUESDAY MARCH 5
Jessie Golem believes in building a better world. She’s a classically trained pianist and piano teacher, a photographer and community activist. In 2018, Jessie was one of 1,000 Hamiltonians accepted onto the Ontario Basic Income Pilot project. When that government research project was suddenly cancelled last summer, Jessie took action. She conceived and launched Humans of Basic Income, a portrait series that amplified the stories of other basic income participants whose lives had been changed by the program. Jessie’s portraits presented powerful images of real people who felt they had no voice. Jessie’s photography enabled basic income participants to share their stories in a way that was empowering and built public understanding about a critical social policy option. Come listen to Jessie’s story, view her portraits and share your views on Basic Income and the artist as social visionary.
Come listen to Jessie’s story, view her portraits and share your views on Basic Income and the artist as social visionary.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME! Parking is available. The building is accessible. Refreshments will be served.
The key to a healthier, happier, more secure life for all
Monday November 12, 7:00 pm
Grant Park in the Atrium
Canadian social programs were designed for a world in which most people graduated from high school, then found a permanent job with benefits that, barring unforeseen accidents, they would hold until they retired with a pension — all under the benevolent eye of their workplace union. In the last forty years, however, the labour market has fundamentally changed. Good, full-time jobs have been replaced by part-time or temporary work that pays lower wages, offers fewer benefits and rarely comes with union support. Economic insecurity is now a feature of the lives of large numbers of people. Those forced to rely on provincial income assistance or disability support find themselves trapped in a system that perpetuates dependence.
This new situation has given new life to an old idea — basic income. This book explores basic income from a Canadian perspective. It reports on research from the original test in Manitoba in the 1970s to the Ontario initiative launched by the Wynne government, then killed by the Ford Tories.
The evidence shows that basic income improves family and community health and well being, improves financial resilience, and improves access to education and training — all at an affordable cost.
Evelyn L. Forget is an economist in the School of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Several years ago she began researching the data associated with a basic income field experiment conducted in Manitoba in the 1970s. She has been consulted by governments and researchers in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Finland, the Netherlands and Scotland on this topic. Her research has been featured on CBC Ideas, PBS Marketplace, Freakonomics and in the documentary The Free Lunch Society. She lives in Winnipeg.
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.
On October 3rd, 2017 the Mincome Symposium was held at the University of Manitoba. If you weren’t able to attend, you’ll find the resources in the link below including the two papers presented and an audio clip of Ron Hikel’s interview with UMFM. Enjoy.
Basic Income: An Anti-Poverty Strategy for Social Work. Audio podcast by Dr. James Mulvale, University of Manitoba, with Dr. Gretchen Ely. Episode 165 of in SocialWork podcast series of the School of Social Work, University at Buffalo (New York).