The idea of establishing a general basic income or UBI program is beginning to take root in Canada ahead of the budget to be unveiled by the government on Monday.
The budget will be the first in the second term of the Liberal Party government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau since he came to power after the October 2019 elections.
It will also be the first to be presented by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who took over as chief financial officer following the resignation of her predecessor Bill Morneau last year.
Importantly, the Liberal Party passed a resolution in support of UBI during its national conference in the second week of April. The decision was supported by 77% of party members who wanted to “ensure that vulnerable communities (including indigenous peoples) could feel financially secure,” according to CBC News.
The New Democratic Party meeting also adopted a similar proposal earlier this month.
That UBI momentum came at a time when the Trudeau government was already using the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in March last year to pay $ 2,000 for four weeks to those who were unemployed or unemployed during the Covid-19 epidemic. That was later converted into the ongoing Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB).
Experts believe that a start can be made in the budget by studying the various aspects of the UBI program. “I think you can see some money in the basic education budget or maybe make some pilots earn a basic income,” said Professor Dionne Pohler, acting director of the University of Toronto’s Center for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, she said.
However, he did not consider CERB or CRB as the basis for building UBI as it was a form of employment insurance. However, they may change the public perception of UBI, making it more politically attractive. As he said in the past, the idea that a person was poor was caused by “character error or moral failure or hard-working”. And, so I think what Covid has done for the public is to make them see, “Do you know that this can happen to anyone who loses a job, and what can you do if you don’t have access to a salary?”
Pohler believes that the targeted basic income system will be more efficient in terms of cost and equity, where those who work below the income limit transfer the proceeds as beneficiaries’ income increases.
The groups also demanded a UBI version given the current uncertain conditions caused by the coronavirus problem. The Ottawa-based Basic Income Network has called for “buildings” for 18- to 64-year-olds “to be set up as soon as possible so that every Canadian can contribute to, and benefit from, a new normal life”.
The biggest hurdle can be the costs involved. The Trudeau government has already taken the organization’s shortfall of about $ 382 billion by the end of March, according to parliamentary analyst Yves Giroux.