Canada Set to Test Basic-Income Concept

Julian Schüngel / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Julian Schüngel / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Our northern neighbor has decided to experiment with an idea already gaining popularity in Switzerland, Germany and Finland.


Buried away in Ontario’s 2016 budget documents are unspecific plans for the Canadian government to start giving a guaranteed, unconditional salary away to a few people just for being alive.

“The pilot project will test a growing view at home and abroad that a basic income could build on the success of minimum wage policies and increases in child benefits by providing more consistent and predictable support in the context of today’s dynamic labor market,” the budget states. … Basic income has been around for about a century as a radical vision for welfare reform. It could allow people a safety net to pursue meaningful work, give control to people who have restricted welfare programs and compensate homemakers for their historically unpaid labor.

Critics of basic income question where the money will come from. Popular suggestions for funding the service involve progressive taxation and cutting other welfare programs. But there are bigger concerns about the recipients of those paychecks: Namely, what will people do if they don’t have to work to survive?

Read more here.

— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Natasha Hakimi Zapata
Assistant Editor / Poetry Editor
Natasha Hakimi Zapata holds a Creative Writing M.F.A. from Boston University and both a B.A. in Spanish and a B.A. in English with a creative writing concentration from the University of California, Los…
Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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