A Guaranteed Basic Income for Canadians: Off the Table or Within Reach?

Pilot projects in the past that have experimented with a Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) in Manitoba and Ontario, and a recent study of the feasibility of a GBI in British Columbia, indicate that provinces are not in an ideal position to successfully implement an affordable and effective GBI. However, a GBI implemented by the federal government, financed by eliminating the GST credit and lowering personal tax exemptions, could be both effective and affordable. It could also do so without requiring the elimination of those provincial social assistance programs that are more deeply targeted toward people’s needs. By using its revenue powers, the federal government could create more fiscal capacity for the provinces to provide other cash and in-kind social supports, allowing for greater provincial benefit targeting.

Publication Date: 
University of Calgary
Calgary, AB