(May 21, 2021) Many Canadians were pulled from the brink of poverty when the federal government instituted the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which provided a form of guaranteed basic income. It was inconceivable until it happened. Yet, political thinkers for the four centuries have advocate that wealth should be for society, not individuals.
In their new book, The Case for Basic Income: Freedom, Security, Justice, Jamie Swift, and Elaine Power make the argument for a basic income guarantee as Canada is face with a growing wealth gap.
The book is deeply personal, featuring compelling stories from participants of the Ontario Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot that ran from 2017 to 2019. It amplifies the every-growing chorus of people who—amid precarious employment, increasing automation, stagnant wages, and climate change—argue for a fair share for everyone. It comes at a time when many Canadians are trying to imagine a more equitable future.
Jamie Swift is the author, most recently, of The Vimy Trap: Or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War (with McMaster historian Ian McKay), finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. Elaine Power is an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies and head of the Department of Gender Studies at Queen’s University. She is a founding member of the Kingston Action Group for a Basic Income Guarantee.
Talking UP is an interview show dedicated to writers, journalists and authors working on issues of social justice, equity, and the nonprofit sector. Guests talk about their reporting and research, what drives their work, and what’s important to them. Listeners will have the opportunity to widen their lens, develop their understanding and figure out where we might go from here.
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