Income Inequality

Resources: Exploring Basic Income

The unprecedented scale of job instability loss during the pandemic has reignited interest in providing Canadians with a basic income. Proposals range widely from a universal benefit to one offered to people in particular economic circumstances. The objective and cost of these programs, and how they fit in our overall social safety net, also vary greatly. And it's the details that matter.
This webpage is a compilation of Broadbent Institute published materials on the topic of basic income that seeks to offer insights and important considerations for advocates and policy-makers exploring this timely idea.


Basic Income Guarantee: A Social Democratic Framework

Report authors Angella MacEwen, Mark Rowlinson, Andrew Jackson, and Katrina Miller seek to clarify the problem that a basic income might solve, and outline principles to guide the development of social policy post-CERB, and in response to the COVID-19 shutdown and subsequent job losses, from a social-democratic perspective.

Opinion & Commentary 

Why We Need a Practical Approach to Basic Income

Andrew Jackson discusses why incremental reform towards an income-tested guarantee for working-age Canadians delivered through the tax system will be the best path forward as opposed to more visionary “big bang” solutions such as basic income. 

Solidarity After the Pandemic: Basic Income or Basic Services?

This blog argues from a health perspective why advocacy efforts to address poverty and persistently low wages should be focused on achieving universal services for all, rather than universal basic income. This is done by increasing spending on public programs that improve health, assist children and seniors, and protect us from poverty and unemployment, in order to bolster the building blocks for a strong society.


Lift the Floor: Would a Universal Basic Income Guarantee a Good Life for All Canadians?

As part of the Broadbent Institute’s 2020 Digital Convening Series, the Institute hosted a pressing conversation on the highly debated topic of universal basic income. The webinar featured prominent progressive thinkers, Simon Black and Armine Yalnizyan, to get their thoughts and expertise on whether basic income is the policy solution progressives should be advocating for. 

Basic Income: an explainer by Guy Caron

This explainer video by former NDP MP Guy Caron, provides a succinct and detailed overview of his basic income proposal, cost and implementation in comparison to other basic income models.


The Pitfalls of a Universal Basic Income

Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Work, Armine Yalnizyan, explains why basic income isn’t a progressive policy solution to addressing poverty, wages and unemployment, but rather our collective efforts should remain fighting for decent work. 

The History and Origins of Basic Income

Brock University labour studies Professor, Simon Black, provides a historical timeline that outlines the origin of the idea of basic income and the various political ideologies that promote its use.