Basic income has broad public support in Canada
A vast number of Canadian individuals and organizations have endorsed basic income, signed petitions, supported a parliamentary motion and a private members bill, and written reports and letters:
- An open letter signed by 50 members of the Senate of Canada in April 2020, including Senator Kim Pate and then Senator Murray Sinclair, former Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Read their letter in English and French
- Open Letters and efforts in support of a basic income program from church leaders: The United Church of Canada, many Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
- A letter with over 3,600 signatures by individuals and organizations representing their wider membership calls for a basic income in the interests of women and gender equity. Signatories include a former federal Minister and a former Deputy Minister responsible for the status of women, a local lead organizer for Black Lives Matter, the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Women’s College Hospital.
- A letter signed by individuals and organizations representing 75,000 arts and culture workers across Canada, making the case for the importance of basic income.
- Nearly 1 million people were represented among the signatories to a case for basic income for youth, including the Canadian Federation of Students, Engineers Without Borders Ontario and the Youth Climate Lab.
- The Call for Justice for a basic income from the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls could mean a better future for everyone to help overcome the historical inequality and poverty that have afflicted our society.
- An open letter signed by 167 Canadian health professionals to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, former Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, and Minister of Health Patty Hajdu calling for a Basic Income.
- A 2015 resolution by the Canadian Medical Association endorsing a Basic Income Guarantee.
- 120 Canadian CEOs representing over $2.3 billion in annual revenue signed a letter in 2018 in support of basic income.
- 75% of Canadians polled by Gallup in 2019 said they supported a UBI as a way to help those who've been displaced by artificial intelligence.
- 59% of Canadians polled by Angus Reid in 2020 said they supported a UBI of between $10,000 to $30,000.
Here’s what some people in Canada have said:
- Why can we give billions to industry but we can’t give $10K to each family in need living below the poverty line? And homeless people needing a hand up? We want to create jobs, sure. How about creating happiness, freedom, peace of mind, independence, and, above all, real hope? (Arlene Dickinson, Canadian businesswoman, investor, author, and television personality…by tweet on July 19, 2021)
- I think [worry about putting food on the table and paying rent at the same time] are distractions that inhibit some of the greatest creative minds. …..the next major innovation (as a society) is in public policy that increases a nation’s ‘happiness’. This is giving the people more so they can build more. (Michael Schmidt, Canadian entrepreneur, chemist and engineer, from a 2016 interview)
- [The pandemic] reminded all of us in the most stark and vivid terms, that we are all connected to one another and that the health of one of us affects all of us. That is so for viruses, but it is also the case for economic well-being…..doing well economically does not mean that others must suffer. (Dr. Evelyn L. Forget, from ‘Basic Income for Canadians: From the COVID-19 Emergency to Financial Security for All’, 2020)
- A basic income would be essential if we want to close achievement gaps. From an educational perspective, this seems to be one of the intractable issues…(Dr. Avis Glaze, one of Canada’s foremost educators and international leader in education).
- I’m not even primarily scared of climate change. I’m scared of what scarcity looks like in a culture and economic system as brutal as ours. (Naomi Klein from an interview in November 2019 ELLE magazine).
- Policy change, especially the creation of a basic income guarantee for all, should not be easy to achieve in a democracy as pluralist and diverse as Canada’s. But nor should this be impossible simply because it is hard. (Hugh Segal, from the preface to ‘Bootstraps Need Boots: One Tory’s Lonely Fight to End Poverty in Canada’, 2019)
- …how wrong we are as a society to think we know better than people themselves do about how to spend their money. (Dr. Danielle Martin from ‘Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians’, 2017. Big idea 5 is a basic income for basic health)
You can also find the range of basic income organizations across the country in addition to these key ones:
If you want to do a really deep dive, Toward a Guaranteed Livable Income: Annotated Bibliography put together by Senator Kim Pate is a great resource for those wanting a guide to detail and evidence.