Canadian Municipalities Leading Discussion on Guaranteed Basic Income

Categories: social, economy, governance

What? Kingston’s city council is the first in Canada to endorse a policy in support of a guaranteed income. The council unanimously passed a motion that calls on other municipalities to make similar resolutions and lobby provincial and federal leaders for discussion on the issue. Many other mayors and municipalities are speaking out in favour of a basic income (e.g. Charlottetown, St. John’s, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, and Halifax) or endorsing similar motions to Kingston’s (e.g. Welland, Pelham, Cornwall, Belleville, and the County of Peterborough). The Association of Local Public Health Agencies and the Canadian Medical Association have also voted to endorse a basic income as a way to address social determinants of health.

So what? Interest in a basic income guarantee is growing internationally, as well as in Canada. Interest may continue to gain traction among municipalities that carry much of the burden of poverty, and may create interest in other experiments to reduce inequality. A basic income guarantee could have many societal benefits but may also be difficult to finance.


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