Reporting on the North American Basic Income Guarantee conference, Josh Brandon notes that it was held jointly at the University of Manitoba and at the Neeginan Centre, an Indigenous training and community development centre in downtown Winnipeg, successfully wedding community experience and academic research in a way that is often lacking at conferences organized exclusively by universities.
The basic income idea is to ensure everyone sufficient income to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of work status. In reality, in pilots and in current programs, it can take different forms. Whether in Canada, India, Finland or the United States, basic income possibilities and options are going to reflect their political and policy context.
By providing an economic floor for everyone in Canada, basic or guaranteed income would simplify and streamline our income security system, lower rates of poverty and inequality, and would enable us to advance environmental sustainability in the context of a steady state economy.
Dr. Mulvale worked in community development in social agencies in southern Ontario for a number of years. In 1999, he joined the University of Regina as a professor, and came to the University of Manitoba in 2013 as Dean of Social Work. His topic of basic (or guaranteed) income is a social policy idea that has been debated for decades in Canada, and has recently been very much in the political spotlight.