Movement Adapts to Massive Increase in Interest
In response to a massive increase in public and media interest in basic income, the Basic Income Canada Network, in concert with other allied organizations and individuals in the movement, is today launching an enhanced rapid media response and resource capability.
We understand the challenge media outlets and journalists have in preparing thoughtful coverage of an issue that may be new to many. As with other issues, basic income has its complexities. We have worked with media over the years and we want to ensure you have access to the people and resources you need now. We know that other powerful forces are organizing to reach you, often trying to protect the status quo. Yet COVID-19 has starkly spotlighted the inadequacies of the status quo; poverty, insecurity, inequality, racism and other societal ills that pre-date the pandemic and are on the rise. Basic income offers a bold and practical solution.
The rumour is swirling that a basic income will come up in the Throne Speech.
The idea of a basic income has gained remarkable traction and momentum, globally and especially in Canada. In recent weeks, it has been adopted as a plank of the New Democratic Party’s platform, it has been anointed as "issue 1" at the upcoming Liberal Party policy convention. A group of 50 Senators is calling for it, as is the Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and Black Lives Matter. Letters of support have been pouring in to political leaders. Individual and joint letters represent many thousands of people including from the public health sector, women’s organizations, arts and culture workers, youth, faith communities and academics in many fields of study.
The basic income movement’s national, regional, local and international networks include experts who have worked for decades on all aspects of basic income debates. We have researched, authored books, modelled options, participated in programs and pilots and worked with politicians of all stripes. We can make a valuable contribution to your work and the public’s understanding.
Other voices have also been joining the conversation, some with views too often based on opinion rather than knowledge or evidence. This can lead to confusion, myths and misunderstandings that do not foster the kind of constructive dialogue this country needs now.
With our rapid response team of diverse experts, we will endeavour to respond to media requests within the hour for any hour any of us are awake (most of the clock). Our volunteers are many and include (with a hint at their extensive expertise, in brackets):
- Sheila Regehr, Toronto (chair of BICN, income security policy)
- Dr. Evelyn Forget, Winnipeg (health economist, disability issues, Mincome expert, author)
- Paul Vallée, Ottawa (technology entrepreneur, future-proofing our society from automation; speaks French and English)
- Dr. Jenna van Draanen, Vancouver (mental health and addictions)
- Luc Gosselin, Montreal (Quebec perspective, speaks French and English)
- Dr. Robin Boadway, Kingston (economist, taxation)
- Dr. Jurgen de Wispelaere, Chile (Finnish experiment and European/international expert)
- Floyd Marinescu, Toronto (CEOs for Basic Income and Founder of UBIWorks)
- Dr. Wayne Lewchuk, Hamilton (labour economist, Ontario pilot researcher)
- Dr. Jim Mulvale, Toronto (environment, social work)
- Dr. Sid Frankel, Winnipeg (child and family poverty)
- Damon Johnston, Winnipeg (Indigenous issues)
- Craig Berggold, Kingston (PhD candidate, independent and unionized arts and culture workers)
- Josephine Grey, Toronto (human rights, race, gender, environment)
- Dr. Tracy Smith-Carrier, London, ON (gender equality)
- Chloe Halpenny, Ottawa (youth)
- Dr. Elaine Power, Kingston (income as a determinant of health, food security)
- Tom Cooper, Hamilton (poverty, Ontario pilot expertise, connection to former recipients)
"A basic income can make an enormous contribution to resilience, an end to poverty, greater equality, gender and racial justice, progress on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, improved health, economic stimulus, an unleashing of creative and entrepreneurial initiative and a fulfillment of human rights," said Sheila Regehr, BICN’s Chair. "Basic income is not a partisan issue, it is a people issue and a public policy solution to move our society towards a more just and equitable Canada."
The Basic Income Canada Network is a registered non-profit, non-partisan voluntary organization promoting informed public dialogue leading to a basic income in Canada. We are engaged in public awareness, knowledge building and sharing, networking across a diverse range of people and sectors, and policy development. In January 2020, we published Basic Income: Some Policy Options for Canada. For more information, visit www.basicincomecanada.org or view our pages on social media.
Media Contact (for information or to book an interview):
Chairperson Sheila Regehr can be reached at: (647) 351-7616
General Manager Ben Earle can be reached at: (905) 431-8657