This letter was sent to the Alberni Valley News on October 29, 2020 and published November 4, 2020.
The provincial election is over and it is now time to look ahead to how this strong NDP majority can truly do the most good for all British Columbians no matter their station or political persuasion. How do they, and all levels of government, deal with the pandemic, housing, opioid and climate crisis, and a contorted and weak economy and labour market?
We need to pull together. We need a Guaranteed Liveable Universal Basic Income. This policy has cross-party support at the federal and provincial levels as well as in local government. It has been studied for decades and always shown to be successful. What we have not had, is the will to do it. COVID-19 has provided that.
There can be no more cracks. No more people falling through the gaps. Tents and food banks and pitting one group against another are not solutions. We need to overhaul our insanely bureaucratic social support system. We need simplicity, efficiency, fairness, universality, and equity. These are the things that we value about our public healthcare system. Those values can guide us with UBI too.
I hope all our local leaders can encourage the Government of BC to recognize the opportunity it has to do as Tommy Douglas did nearly a century ago in Saskatchewan and revolutionize public care in Canada by implementing UBI across this province.
Addendum – Resources
The momentum for Universal Basic Income in Canada and the world has been increasing ever since COVID-19 hit. Below are some resources and links you can follow to take action.
- Check out this study done just this spring by UBC that showed Lump Sum payments to homeless lifted them out of poverty and off the streets faster.
- Go to ubipetition.ca to find all the Parliamentary petitions currently in support of UBI/GLI
- Check out UBIWorks.ca for more resources and ways you can support the movement to have UBI in Canada.
- The highest profile movement right now is in support of Leah Gazan’s Motion 46 in Parliament urging government to convert the CERB supports to a UBI.
- Please talk to your local leader about the benefits of UBI.