Many people in Lanark County and beyond are struggling to feed themselves, cover their housing costs, and more generally endure during these challenging times. Thus, there is no better time for working-age adults to access a basic income that would help stabilize their lives.
Basic income is money distributed to eligible people, regularly, reliably, and without work requirements, and which, absent other income, should meet basic human needs. With the support of basic income, people are better able to meet their basic needs, participate in society, and live with dignity.
Basic Income is not new! Canada has several programs based on this concept, including the Canada Child Benefit for families with children under 18 and the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Old Age Security for seniors. Basic Income could provide the same kind of support to those in between – adults ages 18-64.
Lanark Basic Income Network (LBIN) is a group of citizens advocating for basic income as an essential pillar for fostering individual, family, and community well-being, stimulating local economies, and advancing a more equitable society. Consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we support that everyone has the right to a minimum income level to meet basic needs. No one should live without access to secure, affordable housing, sufficient and nutritious food, a range of health care services including mental health, quality childcare, and other vital social supports.
In a country as rich as Canada, the human cost of poverty is devastating including, in financial terms, at least $80 billion per year. Beyond the risk of poverty, there is the ongoing risk of vulnerability to hardship. Imagine… what would do if you were in a violent domestic situation and needed to start over? You had a stroke and could no longer work? Your spouse experienced a traumatic brain injury and required round-the-clock care? Your child was diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and needed immediate treatment? You lost your job due to downsizing or automation?
The 2017-2018 Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project was prematurely cut short. Nonetheless, from the abbreviated pilot and other studies in Canada and around the world, we have learned that basic income fosters improvements to mental and physical health, that people secure better jobs or retrain/return to school, and that people generally have more satisfying, less stressful lives.
LBIN offers opportunities throughout Lanark County to learn more about basic income and to engage in advocacy in support of basic income. Following an initial event in Smiths Falls on January 29, coming up are two more free “Basic Income 101” events to learn about what basic income is, how it works, and how it can benefit you and your community:
- Saturday, February 10, 10:30am-noon, Almonte Public Library, 155 High Street, Almonte
- Saturday, February 24, 2:00-3:30pm, Perth Public Library, 30 Herriott Street, Perth
We hope you can attend one of these events! RSVP is not required but is helpful as seating may be limited. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please contact LBIN at email@example.com