Opinion: It’s time for Ottawa to seriously study how a guaranteed basic income could replace outdated support programs

Globe and Mail

A private member’s bill advancing a guaranteed basic income for Canadians has no hope of passage, but it contains a good idea that the Liberal government should steal.

Bill C-223, introduced in the House of Commons by NDP MP Leah Gazan last week, would direct the Minister of Finance to “develop a national framework for the implementation of a guaranteed livable basic income throughout Canada for any person over the age of 17.” Within a year of the bill’s passage, the minister would be required to present a framework for a basic income to Parliament, and then regularly report on progress in implementing the framework.

“The fact that people are poor in this country is a political choice,” Ms. Gazan told me. “Let’s stop propping up corporations and let’s invest in people.”

The interesting thing about a guaranteed basic income is that aspects of it are attractive to conservatives as well as progressives, because it could put an end to the massive bureaucracies and complexities of the welfare state. Not only would a guaranteed basic income reduce poverty, it would increase independence and responsibility.

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