Susannah Cameron is the Community Engagement Manager for EndPovertyEdmonton. On May 30 & 31 this year, she attended the Make It B.I.G. (Basic Income Guarantee) Public Forum in Calgary to hear experts, including those living in poverty, make the case for implementing a basic income in Alberta.
Basic Income Calgary organized the Make It B.I.G. Forum with the intention of building a movement to support basic income across the province of Alberta. You can subscribe to updates from Basic Income Alberta if you’d like to become part of this movement. I’m not aware of any basic income groups in other regions or cities in Alberta.
The Make It B.I.G. Public Forum featured two main speaking events. On the first evening, Dr. Lynn McIntyre, Dr. Evelyn Forget, and Mary Salvani provided insights into their backgrounds in Universal Basic Income. Dr. Forget talked about the results of her research on Manitoba’s Basic Income Experiment in mid 1970s. Of interest, her research shows that children of people receiving the income were more likely to complete high school and that hospitalizations and visits to family doctors declined. She also spoke about how basic income could help Canadians through upcoming labour market disruptions, as basic income will give people time to retrain to meet labour shortages.
The panel members talked about not needing another basic income pilot and instead recommended the federal government move straight to developing a policy, much like Canada did with the Canada Child Tax Benefit. Seniors and children already receive a regular, no-strings-attached payment from the Canadian government similar to a basic income that has helped reduce poverty for low income seniors and children.
On the second day of the conference, Sheila Regehr, founding member and chairperson of the Basic Income Canada Network, spoke about three basic income models Basic Income Canada is developing for August 2019. The group anticipates launching a campaign to further conversations on basic income in advance of the upcoming federal election this fall.
Want to be involved?
EndPovertyEdmonton would like to hear from you if you are taking action to raise awareness, do research, or if you are involved in advocacy work for basic income. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To sign up for the Basic Income Canada Network’s newsletter and find more information on the models and policy recommendations, please visit the Basic Income Canada Network website.
You can also subscribe to updates from Basic Income Alberta.
Or you can find articles on basic income (debating the pros and cons) on the Basic Income Europe Network website.