Policy Options

Groundbreaking report shows how Canada could fund a basic income

As the need for basic income grows, we are often asked how Canada could best design and pay for it. To answer that in a detailed way, we asked a team to model some options that are fair, effective and feasible in Canada.

Our report, Basic Income: Some Policy Options for Canada does just that.

Our three options demonstrate that it is indeed possible for Canada to have a basic income that is progressively structured and progressively funded. BICN wants governments, especially the federal government, to take this seriously—and to act. Lives, and the future of our country, depend on it.

“We’ve seen interest in basic income grow far beyond theoretical debates. BICN is now frequently asked what it would look like in Canada,” said Chandra Pasma, a member of the BICN Advisory Council and co-author of the report. “Our report clearly shows there are multiple options Canadian governments could use to implement a successful basic income program.”

Modeling derived from Statistics Canada

The Policy Options report used Statistics Canada’s Social Policy Simulation Database and Model (SPSD/M) to model the funding of the options, combining existing resources with changes to the tax/transfer system, including tax fairness measures. All options are based on BICN’s principles and goals—to reduce inequality, including inequality between women and men; prevent poverty; provide everyone with greater income security, including middle-income earners; and ensure the wealthiest individuals and corporations contribute their fair share.

Each option in the report, Basic Income: Some Policy Options for Canada, meets these overall goals.

The Options: 

  • Option 1 is for 18-64 year olds based on household income, operating much like child benefits, with the $22,000/year ($31,113 for a couple) benefit amount gradually reducing as other income increases; seniors benefits remain in place.
  • Option 2 is similarly income-tested and is for all adults, including seniors.
  • Option 3 is a universal model, sometimes called a demogrant, that provides the same benefit amount to every individual adult.

Contact us for more information or inquiries about this report.