Updated: Sep 14, 2021
A basic income guarantee is much needed, says Susan Abells (photo: The Star)
By Spencer van Vloten
September 14th, 2021
Coalition Canada Basic Income (Coalition Canada) and Basic Income BC will be holding a basic income rally at the BC legislature in Victoria, calling on the government to establish a basic income guarantee.
We talked with Coalition Canada's Susan Abells about the event, what specifically is being called for, and why she thinks Canadians are being let down by the lack of a basic income guarantee.
You’re calling for a basic income guarantee – explain the details.
Susan: We’re calling for basic income that’s available to people whenever they need it. That makes it a basic income guarantee rather than universal basic income that's available to everyone whether they need it or not.
In large part it’s a poverty elimination policy, but it also recognizes fairness and autonomy of the individual. It’s subject only to residency and income—regardless of work status, relationship status, or residency status.
It’s about the dignity and security of the person and enabling them to meet their physical, mental, and social well-being, encouraging their full participation in society.
Is the current system failing?
Susan: It's failing people, particularly at the provincial level where welfare and disability are administered.
These income transfers are highly highly regulated. There’s a barrier between the receipt and guardian of funds, to determine who’s and isn’t eligible.
Federally, they’re doing a better job. We have the Canada Child Benefit, Old Age Security, and these are guaranteed rather than gatekept like at provincial level.
They’re administered by Canada Revenue Agency, mostly based around income and not asset-based. There's less involvement from people determining whether you’re eligible.
'Canadians Want Basic Income Now - Add Your Voice!' (video: Basic Income Now)