Webinar – Basic Income and Economic Recovery in Canada


  • Keynote – Sheila Regehr, Chairperson of the Basic Income Canada Network
  • BI+ Guest – Dr Wayne Lewchuk, Professor Emeritus in the School of Labour Studies and Department of Economics
  • Advocate Guest – Kendal David, Administration and Education Officer of the Basic Income Canada Youth Network

Keynote Biography

Sheila Regehr is a founding member of the Basic Income Canada Network, and its Chairperson since 2014. She is also a former Executive Director of the National Council of Welfare, an independent advisory body to the federal government that published the only comparative reports available on Canada’s 13 different social assistance systems, comprehensive poverty profiles, and analytic reports focused on solutions. It consulted across the country with governments and civil society from 2006 to 2012 as provinces, territories and municipalities were developing and undertaking poverty reduction strategies. Its last and most in-demand report was The Dollars and Sense of Solving Poverty.

Sheila’s 29-year career in the federal public service also spanned front-line work, policy analysis and development and senior management. She was a Canadian negotiator at several United Nations world conferences on gender equality and social development, and chaired UN negotiations on poverty and on unpaid work. Her areas of policy expertise include income security and taxation, such as child tax benefits, the tax treatment of child support, the development of Economic Gender Equality Indicators in collaboration with Statistics Canada, maternity/parental benefits, pensions and social assistance. Sheila’s insight also comes from experiencing poverty herself as a young parent.


BI+ topic

Dr. Wayne Lewchuk on Basic Income in the modern labour market, how BI fits with insecure and precarious employment. 

Dr. Lewchuk is Professor Emeritus in the School of Labour Studies and Department of Economics. He holds an MA in economic history from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D in economics from the University of Cambridge.

He was the co-director the Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario (PEPSO) project, a joint initiative of the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University and United Way Greater Toronto. In early 2020, with his co-authors Mohammad Ferdosi, Tom McDowell, and Stephanie Ross he published an evaluation of Hamilton’s basic income pilot which is available on the Labour Studies web site. https://labourstudies.mcmaster.ca/research


BI Advocate

Kendal David (she/her) is a Master of Social Work student at Carleton University with experience in the disability sector, community development and organizing, and critical social research. Kendal graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Calgary in 2019. While completing her undergraduate social work practicum placements she grew more interested in basic income activism as a response to inadequate social policy and flawed approaches to addressing income insecurity through charity and philanthropy. Kendal went on to become a founding member of the Basic Income Canada Youth Network and currently serves as the Administration and Education Officer. Kendal believes that, as Calgarians, we have a responsibility to build a future where none of our neighbours is without means to lead a dignified life while living in one of the most prosperous and dynamic cities in the world.