It is past time. Canada needs a guaranteed basic income now. The public health crisis has in many ways exacerbated and accelerated many gaps in the social support system, making the case for a basic income even stronger. The magnitude of the pandemic, coupled with a just economic recovery, makes it impossible to return to our previous income support system. We either learn from this experience and create a better, new normal, or daily life will get immensely worse for many people.
A basic income would reduce the red tape burden of many social programs and create a level playing field for those who need it most. Research points to the improved health and reduced stress to those on a basic income, and most report better being able to manage family, paid employment, and community responsibilities.
The time to act is now, many countries around the world are either seriously considering a basic income or are actively implementing it. Canadians cannot be left behind, and our economic recovery depends on Canadians being able to spend money.
It is time to make a basic income a permanent program in Canada.