BICN Brief – Advocating for a Basic Income in the wake of COVID-19

BICN, over the years, has encouraged a wide range of thought and work on basic income concepts, research, pilots and policy proposals. In our own modelling we developed three different progressive policy options and refrained from advocating just one.

The COVID-19 health and economic crisis has changed that. We must be more directive.

Our concern for human life and wellbeing has led us to the conclusion that the federal government must act decisively now and that the best available evidence in Canada at this moment argues for a basic income guarantee model for 18-64 year olds, consistent with programs for seniors and children that have demonstrated success.

It is most critical that the basic income guarantee architecture be put in place as soon as possible in order that everyone in Canada can contribute to, and benefit from, a healthier new normal. 

BICN’s Brief, submitted to both Senate and House of Commons Committees studying the government’s response to COVID-19, makes this case. It addresses key myths and misconceptions about basic income that Parliamentarians have asked us about, and explains the evidence base that should guide Canadian action. It concludes with a clear recommendation that:

“the federal government establish a basic income guarantee for 18-64 year olds comparable to the CERB monthly amount of $2000, ensuring that some benefits continue into the middle-income deciles, consistent with the design and principles of Option One in Basic Income: Some Policy Options for Canada ( This option recognizes that a small boost in income will also be needed for low-income seniors, especially single seniors, in order to ensure fairness.”

BICN’s full Brief and recommendations are available here:

English version
French version