Basic income would support the arts sector

Medicine Hat News

During the long days of isolation and shut-downs we’ve all had the arts to keep us entertained and connected. And though theatres, live music venues, and galleries were the first to have their doors shuttered, artists across disciplines continued to produce and present their work virtually, and often for free.

This disruption is not only felt at the individual and local level, but also federally, where as outlined by Statistics Canada, the arts and culture sector contributed $53.1 Billion to Canada’s GDP in 2017.

The Canadian Association for the Performing Arts (CAPACOA) reported that in 2020, alongside recreation, the arts and entertainment sector experienced the largest loss of employment. However, it was workers in the performing arts sector that felt the biggest blow to their income, with nearly 61 per cent less hours worked.

The roll-out of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) provided many Canadian workers the income support needed to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. Many of these workers experienced, some for the first time, how powerful a consistent and guaranteed income could be for their mental and physical well-being. Unfortunately, there remained many who were ineligible for government support because their prior year income was too low to qualify.

To read more, click here.