September Poll

Should Canada have a minimum Basic Income in place for all Canadians?

Comments


The comments above are far and wide, it depends on how you read the question.  Ideally basic minimum income is a great thing, if one is on assistance allowing them to work to shore up their income to the basic minimum is a good thing.  Getting into a better health and living space can them provide for a better earned income.  Several trials have worked in this interesting that no one has followed it up..  If its only in the taxes they get the break up to that minimum income it doesn’t help if a loss of job occurs on low income as 60% of ei is not enough if their lost job was totally required to live.  Taxes are not only in federal hands, but cities and towns have their own taxes to pay so no one gets out of it all. .  Its interesting what is considered welfare and what is considered a hand up.

By Clare Pludek on September 18, 2020


There will always be folks who cannot manage their money whether they have a lot of it or barely any at all.  There will always be the folks who can stretch a dollar into two.  Probably at least 60% of “poor” folks could learn to mange if they had enough income to get by on.  The Senate was talking a few years ago about a minimum income and all the disposable dollars folks would have to boost the economy.  They thought if everyone received at least $24,000 a year they would have $24,000 to spend.  What the Senate neglected to consider was income tax.  Here in NS, that $24,000 quickly becomes $21,293 after tax.  Only a few dollars more than they would receive on minimum wage after paying CPP and EI and taxes.

By Pat Gamborg on September 18, 2020


Read about the Nordic Countries; they have a form of basic income, and it works. Those on basic income are required to do “something” even some volunteer work. I have been to Denmark many times…. I do not hear complaints from the working taxpayers about “those receiving income and doing nothing” (and I do ask my cousins). It can work… basic income creates pride in community, more “middle income”, more consumers who can shop in stores and keep businesses earning income. Nordic countries have most of their citizens happy, healthy, good income and good lifestyle.

By Anni Markmann on September 13, 2020


Until this year, my answer would have be NO.  COVID continues to wreck havoc on peoples lives, especially employment opportunities.  While I know people who are ‘milking the system’ I see a pile of closed businesses and people struggling.  The government seems to feel the solution is to getting/keeping businesses back on track.  However it works out, WE will be paying for years as we dig out of our current situation.  We need to encourage employment and getting those who can work BACK to work - the sooner the better.

By Lucie Hansom on September 12, 2020


It’s interesting to see all the comments that presumes people definitively know what would happen, yet those comments seem to fly in the face of the Mincome experiment of 1974-1979 in Dauphin, MB (linked in a prior comment).

I’m torn by the concept, but if we saw similar results as the experiment, and it was done well, the result could be a net positive.  If there was less drug and alcohol abuse, resulting in lower hospitalizations and health care costs, if a basic living level of income wasn’t immediately subject to income taxes, if physical and mental health were improved, if families were more stable, and more students completed school, it could be a huge boon to the country.  It could also reduce bureaucracy and potentially eliminate some government departments / agencies.  From that perspective, and from a perspective of compassion and empathy, I’d like to see something implemented.

On the flip side, I worked for the federal government for 13 years.  So, unfortunately, I don’t see this being implemented well nor resulting in a reduction of government expenditures in other areas.  That’s the unfortunate part.  I’m not surprised to see nearly a 50/50 split on the poll.  Admittedly, I haven’t voted because my mind isn’t made up one way or the other.

By Derek T on September 11, 2020


No basic income. Teach someone how to fish and let them catch their own food. However, for people who really need the assistance, then lets give them the assistance and all the tools they need to work and get the benefits of self-esteem from working or perhaps “governmentally recognized volunteering activities” and contribute to our wonderful country. Unless of course, life really has given you lemons. There has to be a better way to identify who really requires assistance from those who take advantage of the system. I used to be a landlord (not anymore) and have gotten discouraged by people on welfare or lower income braacket whining and complaining that anyone who works and makes more than them ‘owes’ them. At the same time, they damaged my properties, don’t pay rent, engage in expensive risky activities, work under the table in the black market and know how to screw the system all the while owning brand new cars, cellphones, TV’s.

By Nathalie on September 11, 2020


“Go get a job” this is a great country built on the hard work of those who care about the future of their families. Hand outs are not productive and would reduce living standards due to lack of incentive to actually contribute to our great country. Get a job!

By Kelly Hansen on September 11, 2020


“Go get a job” this is a great country built on the hard work of those who care about the future of their families. Hand outs are not productive and would reduce living standards due to lack of incentive to actually contribute to our great country. Get a job!

By Kelly Hansen on September 11, 2020


Just one more vote buying boondoggle by the ruling Liberals. I can hear it all now. Just like with the bushels of money being shoveled out the front door of Rideau Cottage, I’m quite sure that the tone deaf Liberals would do this so Canadians wouldn’t have to pay for things. Like the idiots actually believe that the populace will never have to reckon with them spending like a bunch of drunken sailors. Sorry to any sailors who I might have slighted.

By Lyle Urbanowski on September 11, 2020


Income is not the problem.  Complex Taxation is the problem.
For everyone the first $30,00 should be tax free.  For everyone, each dollar above that amount should be taxed at 25%.  3/4 for the maker and 1/4 for the taker.
Siegfried Merten, MFA

By Siegfried Merten on September 10, 2020


The StatCan series “Canadian Megatrends”included aa analysis called “The fall and rise of Canada’s top income earners” that reviewed changes in the share of income by income group between 1982 and 2014.  What was revealed?  The bottom 50% of income earners had their share of income fall by 28% between 1982 and 2014 while the top 50% had their share grow by just under 5%.  What is particularly noteworthy is the share of income earned by those at the very top.  The top 1% saw their share of income rise by 53%, the top 0.1% by 90% and the top 0.01% by 133%.

Read Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century and Kurt Andersen’s EVIL GENIUSES The Unmaking of America: A Recent History for descriptions of how we got here.  The middle class has been displaced by technology and enormous wealth has been flowing to a handful of multi-billionaires. 

Having the bottom half of all earners lose income share while the top 1% rapidly grows its share is a trend that will not provide a foundation for a happy, peaceful, stable country.  Something has to be done.

By David A Bishop on September 10, 2020


NO.  Enough said.

By ALAN ROWELL on September 10, 2020


Who is paying for this? The government does not have its own money. This will diminish the tax pool forcing the remaining hardworking Canadians to foot the bill with increased taxes. I was a single mother, earning a salary of approximately 50,000. That income level was enough to not qualify for government benefits like the child tax benefit or an income tax refund. Those on welfare with child tax benefit and other government credits had more cash in their pockets at the end of the year. I would like to see every source of income taxed at dollar one and credits given to the vulnerable sectors of the population. I would like to see one school system that guarantees that every Canadian has access to the same educational opportunities whether you live in Attawapiskat or Signal Hill. Instead of funding two sets of administration, more would be available to invest in front line teaching. Same with the police force. Why is there three types of law enforcement and the associated administration. Canadians are bleeding money, now more than ever in a pandemic. We simply cannot think about a basic income at this time.

By Holly Atwood on September 09, 2020


A minimum basic income can be a disincentive to work. Canada already has a higher “normal” unemployment rate than the U.S. because of our social programs. If someone cannot work due to health; temporary layoff; etc… they obviously need a helping hand; however, I used to work as a claims assessor for Canada Employment and it amazed me how many applicants felt they had a right to “pogey” as if the government gathered the money off trees rather than being aware that their fellow citizens were footing the bill through their taxes. What Canada needs are programs that give its’ citizens an incentive to work not an incentive to sit home and watch Netflix off the back of their hard-working neighbours.

By Sharon on September 07, 2020


I have worked with people living on low incomes for over 20 years. These include single parents, newcomers to Canada, people living with disabilities, Indigenous peoples dealing with intergenerational trauma, and many others. One commenter stated: “Although their standard of living is quite low, comparatively, they are happy enough with it as long as they don’t have to work.” I’m wondering how many of those people you know personally and have had a conversation with. For the thousands of people I’ve worked with, most of them want a better life for their families, but there are many barriers to that happening. Refugees who were professionals in their home country but had to leave everything behind because their lives were in danger, need to go through a long, expensive, and onerous process to have their credentials recognised in Canada - and may need to learn English (on top of 3 or 4 languages they already speak). For generations, Indigenous populations were forced to stay on the reserves where there weren’t adequate educational resources or jobs. Or they were sent to residential schools where they were traumatised and abused. For someone in those circumstances to think that completing high school (when no one around them has done so), they need to be pretty remarkable. It often involves moving to a city and living with strangers at age 14 or 15. If they continue on to post-secondary education, they rarely go back to their home communities because of the lack of job opportunities. Those left behind don’t have the support and role models they need to pursue their own education. For both of these groups, and for other people of colour, racism is a very real obstacle to success. I raised my daughter alone and had to leave a job (that paid less than poverty wages despite post-secondary education and a supervisory role) because there was no child care available for the shifts I worked. The last thing I wanted to do was to go on welfare, but that was the only option. Fortunately, I was able to learn additional skills that enabled me to get a much better job. Not everyone is that lucky. And many people live with disabilities that may not be visible, but that don’t impact their lives any less than someone who uses a wheelchair, for example. The money that people currently receive on social assistance (at least in my province) is approximately 40 - 60% of the Low-Income Cut-Off used by statistics Canada. It takes a lot of work to be poor - dealing with multiple beaurocracies, trying to pay utilities, feed, and clothe a family on as little as $300 a month in some cases is not easy. Allowing people a basic minimum income that takes away the stress of choosing between paying the rent or feeding the kids allows people to focus on other priorities, like getting training or education so they can find work to support their families on their own. Will some people “take advantage”? Yes. Most times, though, a minimum basic income will be well worth the money spent. (If you want to see an example of a minimum basic income, here is an article about the Mincome experiment in Dauphin, Manitoba in the 1970s https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200624-canadas-forgotten-universal-basic-income-experiment.)

By Aileen Krush on September 05, 2020


There is people that can afford a living and yet they are compelled to rent a place to finance or refinance their landlord mortgage. This same landlord have originally decided to reinvest from a will or from activities while getting a loan because of a good credit at the bank, or from the former generation living in this country. There is people not having even a chance to obtain such privilege because they started wrong, didn’t get a financial education early in life or because the society have hidden this matter to them. What is the reason? Because an employer want them to work for him or her as well as renting an apartment they own as landlord?  If you are concerned about someone revenue you need to have an authorization or a license to do so. it is a business. There is a matter of Health that intervene in favor of citizens of this country. If a question like this is brought to attention it is because there is Health Professionals that have Hearts of Gold. Why a small percentage of people have the Wealth of the World at hands? It is because there is people dying just trying to match the recessive function with their work, ideas and payments while not realizing or wondering about being enslaved and alienated.  The method is to provide at least 3 stars living to everyone, if someone can’t work or don’t want to ... so be it, the Ancient Canadians were going to the windmill to get their flour bags and were participating to community work… There is Healthy solutions, we need to hear what each and everyone needs in details…But need to provide a standard of living over criticism and judgmental attitudes…

By Frederic Carrier on September 05, 2020


The people who advocate for this silliness have not given it any thought. I live in an area where the Government provides a minimum income to a large percentage of the population. Although their standard of living is quite low, comparatively, they are happy enough with it as long as they don’t have to work. If this were provided on a much wider basis, and with more money, as the advocates want, why would anyone be stupid enough to work, when they can get by on handouts without it, and if they did work, their earnings would be taken to pay those who will not work. If you think the economy is bad now, wait until everyone stops working and the Government has no money to waste.

By Mitzi-Lynne Morgan on September 04, 2020


The people who advocate for this silliness have not given it any thought. I live in an area where the Government provides a minimum income to a large percentage of the population. Although their standard of living is quite low, comparatively, they are happy enough with it as long as they don’t have to work. If this were provided on a much wider basis, and with more money, as the advocates want, why would anyone be stupid enough to work, when they can get by on handouts without it, and if they did work, their earnings would be taken to pay those who will not work. If you think the economy is bad now, wait until everyone stops working and the Government has no money to waste.

By Mitzi-Lynne Morgan on September 04, 2020


Second time I’ve tried to submit this, it didn’t seem to go the first time:
I ,too, always find that the View Results button in the Knowledge Bureau polls doesn’t work, and I’d love to see the results.

By Cherry Rowlands on September 04, 2020


I , too, would love to see the results of Knowledge Bureau polls, but I always find that the View Results button doesn’t work.

By Cherry Rowlands on September 04, 2020


With a minimum basic income, you are dependent on the government.  Where is the pride of accomplishment?  There is no pride in handouts.  Britain proved this with the ‘dole’.  When it’s easier to go with the flow rather than earning your own way in the world, business suffers from a lack of a motivated workforce.  When you are dealing with the lowest common denominator, then that’s exactly what you get.  It’s a race to the bottom.
Those that have a legitimate need or disability need the community support and I back this fully.  The rest of us need to support ourselves as well as the government with our taxes.  BUT our taxes need to be spent wisely.  It’s not the government’s money - the government has no money of it’s own - the money comes from taxpayers - don’t ever forget this.

By Clint Wormsbecker on September 03, 2020


Would love to see the results.  Nothing comes up.

By Doris Woodman-McMillan on September 03, 2020


If we went with the minimum basic income (MBI) we would eliminate the administration and humiliation of going through all the other social welfare programs where you first have to prove you need it and some people qualify and same don’t.  Welfare workers would then focus on the other aspects of their clients well being.  Everyone would be paid the MBI.  It would not be taxable income.  The personal exemption on income taxes would be eliminated.  The tax rates might go up slightly, but the net of all that would live most fully employed Canadians where they are now, except they would now have the safety net of the MBI if something goes sideways.  Marginally employed people would not have anything “taxed away” and would therefore have the incentive to go out and find work.  The challenge is how the MBI applies to peoples children.

By Brian Fea on September 03, 2020


Don’t we already have a basic minimum income in place?  That’s what the welfare / social assistance system is about, is it not?  Bringing more programs in beyond those that were in place prior to the pandemic, I think would be moving in the wrong direction.  Need to assist people to want to work, and get them out to work if they are able.

By DEBORAH J BELDEN on September 03, 2020


I disagree completely with the two previous comments,and so do the facts ,as proven anywhere it has been tried.

It is an easy way to make a dent in the enormous difference between ‘have’ and ‘have nots’ in our country and elsewhere, and the social costs associated with it. I unequivocally support it !

By Donna Wuschke on September 03, 2020


Minimum basic income should be calculated to include all non-taxable benefits - quarterly GST, monthly Trillium (in Ontario), Child Benefit, Workers Compensation, child support and spousal support etc.  Having said that, if someone were on minimum Basic Income and they find work that pays more, the excess income should be clawed back at 50% - not 100% - to encourage people on support to become more gainfully employed.

By Rosalind Kemp Gleave on September 03, 2020


I agree totally! No work, no pay…

By Perry Blair on September 03, 2020


When you pay people to sit around and do nothing, they sit around and do nothing.  Removing the incentive to find work and be productive is self defeating.  I think there should be some sort of temporary help for people who, through no fault of their own, cannot find work but the emphasis is on the work “temporary”.  If they are not actively seeking employment, they should not be compensated.

By Robert Litschel on September 03, 2020