Basic Income

Giving Canadians a solid floor to stand on

The causes of food insecurity are undoubtedly complex and interconnected; yet one cross-cutting factor cannot be denied — poverty. 12.6% Canadians live below the Low Income Measure (as of 2011) and the costs of poverty in this country totals approximately $86 billion annually (OAFB, 2009). Clearly, this is a critical national issue that requires a national solution. Guaranteeing a basic income for all would both greatly reduce the number of Canadians experiencing food insecurity and, importantly, offer a more dignified social safety net that ensures no one falls below a certain income level. 

In this webinar, we were joined by two esteemed panelists who are leading the charge for basic income. Hugh Segal has been advocating for basic income through his many political posts (including as Conservative senator between 2005 and 2014), as an author, and as an academic. Dr. Andrew Pinto hails from the Centre for Inner City Health at St. Michael’s Hospital and is researching the effects of boosting incomes of low-income and otherwise marginalized patients. CFCC’s Chief Operating Officer, Kathryn Scharf, moderated the conversation.

The breakdown of the three parts is as follows:

  1. Our current approach to poverty isn’t working and how the medical community is responding
  2. Unpacking basic income — the mechanics and the critiques 
  3. Next steps and Q+A

Be sure to explore the extensive resources on the right hand side, including our Basic Income Backgrounder and recent media coverage of the topic. Also, be sure to read Dr. Andrew Pinto's guest post, Reducing poverty, improving health here on The Pod, as well as the four questions we asked Hugh Segal.