The federal government released a discussion paper, titled ‘Towards a Poverty Reduction Strategy’ earlier this month. The paper includes a call to action and provides context on the issue in Canada. The discussion paper was released in advance of the government’s consultations, which are planned for 2017.
The discussion paper can be found here.
An article by Nathan Raine in the latest issue of Planet S Magazine discusses the potential for basic income pilot projects in Canada. After the Mincome experiment in Dauphin, MB was abandoned decades ago, the idea has resurfaced because of its potential to improve health, educational attainment, and reduce crime.
Simon Enoch (who has been involved with Poverty Free Saskatchewan’s steering committee) is quoted in the article. “One of the reasons why the guaranteed minimum income is coming back into vogue is that we increasingly see that people who work 40 hours a week aren’t making it,” says Enoch. “We’ve gotten to this low-wage economy, where some people are paid by the task instead of hour. So this would be a way to give a baseline floor to which no one would fall.”
Link to the Planet S article: http://www.planetsmag.com/story.php?id=1961
This article by Audrey Adam on the WLRN Public Radio website revisits some of the successes found with basic income experiments in Canada and the United States as Utrecht in the Netherlands makes news for starting a basic income program. The article mentions the famous “MINCOME” experiment, which took place in Dauphin, MB in the 1970’s. During the four years of Mincome, many positive effects were found, including an increase in high school graduation rates and a decrease in hospital utilization.
“As we approach the October election, Canadians ought to remember that poverty, health and the economy are inextricably linked issues. We ignore those links at our peril.” Read more in this commentary provided by Carolyn Shimmin in the Toronto Star.
There has been much discussion about the need to reform our social support systems. In a response to recent proposals made by prominent intellectuals, this article by Carol Goar makes the important point: what Canada needs are safety nets redesigned with — not just for — the people who need them.
The Poverty Reduction Summit: Every City, Province and Territory Working Together
May 6-8, 2015: Ottawa, Ontario
Organized by the Tamarack Institute and Vibrant Communities Canada – Cities Reducing Poverty
This unprecedented event will join together representatives from all provinces/territories (and many cities) with the goal of motivating collective action to reduce poverty for 1 million Canadians.
The three-day national gathering will highlight what’s working in poverty reduction activities, celebrate strong community examples and provincial/territorial strategies, and will outline what each holds in common so that we can clearly see the points of alignment that already exists.
Colleen Christopherson-Cote from the Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership will be speaking on the panel about how campus and community partners are collaborating together to move the needle on complex issues. Alison Robertson from Poverty Costs (SK) will also be speaking about the role of national and provincial coalitions in moving forward policy change efforts.
For more information, visit http://events.tamarackcommunity.org/povertyreductionsummit
Dignity for All: The Campaign for a Poverty Free Canada is organizing a campaign which will be held on October 17, 2014 to coincide with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Across Canada on the lunch hour of October 17th, food bank workers and anti-poverty advocates will be joining together to call for a Federal Anti-Poverty Plan. The group is asking the federal government for systemic change to eradicate poverty and hunger for the 833,000 people in Canada who use food banks each month and for the millions of others struggling to get by.
Instead of handing out a free lunch, volunteers for the ChewOnThis campaign are “brown bagging their call to action.” They will be handing out lunch bags marked “Chew on This!” which will contain an apple along with a magnet and postcard calling people to action to sign on to the call for a plan to end poverty.
For more information: www.chewonthis.ca
Inequity is rising in Canada. Did you know that the 86 richest families in Canada now hold more wealth than the poorest 11.4 million?
Poverty and inequities hurt all of us in the long run. They erode social cohesion and create a burden on all taxpayers to pay for poverty reduction, healthcare services, unemployment, crime and homelessness.
Full article by John Millar is available from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/john-millar/poverty-measures_b_5656216.html
11th North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress
Thursday May 3, 2012
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)
University of Toronto
252 Bloor Street West
More information from: Basic Income Canada Network
Concurrent session leaders include a number of speakers from Saskatchewan.
The 11th North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress will take place May 3-5, 2012 at the University of Toronto, on the theme of Putting Equality Back on the Agenda: Basic Income and Other Approaches to Economic Security for All.
While Canada, the United States, and many other OECD countries have grown increasingly unequal in recent years, equality has not been on the political agenda. Yet evidence shows that income inequality is accompanied by a range of significant negative consequences. Putting Equality Back on the Agenda will examine this growing trend of inequality and consider the option of a basic income to reduce economic disparity.
Featured speakers will include:
Richard Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School and co-author of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better;
Charles Karelis, Research Professor of Philosophy at The George Washington University and Author of The Persistence of Poverty: Why the Economics of the Well-Off Can’t Help the Poor;
Erik Olin Wright, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin – Madison, author of Envisioning Real Utopias, and American Society: How it Actually Works;
Armine Yalnizyan, Senior Economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives;
John Rook, Chair of the National Council of Welfare and CEO of Potential Place Society;
Evelyn Forget, Professor, University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine;
Trish Hennessey, Director of Strategic Issues for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; and
Dan Meades, Director, Vibrant Communities Calgary.
The North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress is a joint Conference of the U.S. and Canadian Basic Income Guarantee Networks. It takes place in Canada and the United States on alternating years. Scholars, service providers, policy makers, and others are invited to register. Presentations will address the following topics:
What are the costs of economic disparity (economic, social and political)?
What are the implications for pursuing (or not pursuing) basic income options?
What are possible models for generating revenue to sustain a basic income and what are their implications for economic disparity?
What are the practical issues for implementing a basic income policy and what are their implications for economic disparity?
What communication and engagement strategies are necessary to raise awareness about economic disparity and basic income in the public sphere?
You may register for the event at: http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1037653
Please note that we would like you to try to preregister for each session. Preregistration is simply to give the organizers an idea of the numbers we can roughly expect for each session.
If you do not have a credit card, then you can mail your registration contact information along with a check, payable to “Canada Without Poverty.” Please mail your payment before April 15th, 2012 to:
Attention: Kizzy Paris
Canada Without Poverty (CWP)
251 Bank Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1X3
Tel: 613-789-0096 or 1-800-810-1076
DEADLINE FOR EARLY REGISTRATION FEE: APRIL 15th, 2012 Costs for per person registration are as follows, a registration fee ($3.95) and taxes will be added to your final amount:
$150 for Private, Corporate, University, and Government Registration $ 90 for Not-for-Profit Registration $ 40 for Low income, students, and seniors (No fee places available for persons living in poverty – contact CWP for details)
Registration after April 15th is $200 (Private/Corporate); $150 (Non-for-Profit); and $50 (Low Income, students, and seniors). Registration must occur prior to the event.