Basic Income: Can it Happen Here?

The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn took hold in Canada starting in March 2020, exacerbated inefficiencies in Canada’s social safety net. The federal government, to its credit, worked quickly to deliver emergency relief to millions of Canadians who found themselves suddenly jobless or furloughed. Nevertheless, this moment inspired renewed conversations on the need for a basic income as a measure to insure financial security and stability for Canadians so that sudden shocks to the economy (such as global oil price stability) can be better weathered. This fACT Sheet will provide an overview of basic income—highlighting examples of where it has been tried, outlining its potential benefits, and identifying areas of concern that should be taken into account when designing a program of this nature.

Publication Date: 
Edmonton Social Planning Council