BIA’s brief to the Senate

Basic Income Alberta (BIA) is a coalition of local organizing groups across the province, and supports the implementation of a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income (GLBI) in Canada. Basic Income Alberta recommends that the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance supports Bill S-233, An Act to Develop a National Framework for a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income, and send it to third reading as soon as possible.

Basic Income Alberta recommends the following principles are incorporated in the design of a basic income program for Canada:
• Enables individuals to have both (1) autonomous income to use as best meets their own needs; and (2) access to public services that benefit all of us.
• Need not replace other income programs that are working well, such as other forms of basic income already provided to children (0-17) and seniors (65+) e.g., employment insurance, CCB
GIS, Canada and Quebec Pension plans.
• Replaces income provided though social assistance systems that impose paternalistic and stigmatizing conditions not applicable to other Canadians.
• Provides the security of an income floor that increases over time with the cost of living, declines gradually as income increases, and is enhanced in particular circumstances such as disability and
lone-parenthood, consistent with the recognition such circumstances receive now in the tax
system and other programs.
• Leaves no one receiving income support worse off that before a basic income program was implemented, substantially improves the wellbeing of those in the deepest poverty and to these
ends changes services currently tied to social assistance receipt to ones that are geared to income.
• Works together with universal public services such as health care, education, child care, and pharmacare, and over time reduces the volume of need for services that treat the consequences
of poverty and exclusion.
• Does not substitute for minimum wage or pay equity laws or other measures that ensure the paid labour market operates fairly, nor for the creation of new and better jobs; nor does a good
basic income program design remove the need for an affordable housing strategy, the need to combat racism, other forms of discrimination and other factors linked to inequality.
• Is based on fair and progressive taxation.