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 Good, full-time jobs have been replaced by part-time or temporary work that pays lower wages, offers fewer benefits and rarely comes with union support.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.
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Join us on September 20, 2018 at the University of Winnipeg for Basic Income Manitoba Community Conversation. Don’t forget to RSVP!
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.
…to hear what we can learn from Mincome. Basic Income Manitoba is co-hosting a seminar featuring Ron Hikel, who was one of the architects of the 1970s Mincome project, and members of the University of Manitoba Department of Economics will offer lessons that can inform our understanding of basic income in the 21st Century. For more info, see the poster:
Over the summer, the steering committee of Basic Income Manitoba is taking steps to incorporate as a non-profit organization. In the fall, we will be holding a public meeting to share opportunities for members to participate in the activities of the organization. Stay tuned for announcements of date/time and location.
Former Prime Minister Paul Martin has spoken out in favour of a basic income guarantee, saying there is “merit” in this policy tool to help lower income Canadians.
Winnipeg is among six cities the federal government plans to include in case studies to inform national poverty reduction strategy. Basic Income Manitoba aims to work with federal members of parliament to promote basic income as a valuable anti-poverty strategy.
Lorna Turnbull argues that the Pallister government must make good on its promise to make sure that Manitoba is a “have” province for all Manitobans so that everyone can fully enjoy their rights as citizens.
Basic Income: An Idea Whose Time Has Come. A TED talk delivered by Dr. James Mulvale at the TEDxUManitoba event, 24 March 2016View this
Highlights of the North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress in May 2016 (produced by Winnipeg Harvest)View this
Presentations at the NABIG Congress 2016View this
Sid Frankel and James Mulvale, Support and Inclusion for All Manitobans: Steps Toward A Basic Income Scheme (2014) 37 Manitoba Law Review, pp 425-464View this
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).View this