Minimum Guaranteed Income is Back On The Discussion Table.
Both the federal government and the provincial governments of Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec are about to explore the concept of guaranteeing a minimum income to all people.
Basic income: New life for an old idea
A combination of economic uncertainty and political possibility is giving new life to an old policy idea
Ontario will test idea of a guaranteed minimum income to ease poverty, spending on social programs
This conversation needs to back up a whole chapter or two.
Firstly, Why? What would this program hope to accomplish? Canada already has social assistance, pensions, employment insurance etc. Are all the present systems to be replaced? Would monies be doled out and then taxed back? More and more peoples are becoming entrenched in the idea that they are owed a living, that they have a fundamental right, a ‘Charter Right’ to social assistance, to ‘Free Money‘ SORRY! It is not so.
Under our Canadian Charter of Rights and freedoms the closest the Charter comes to ensuring the rights of citizens is the following clause:
7. “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”
This clause does not guarantee anyone they will be given a ‘Life’ and ‘security’ and ‘freedom’, just guaranteed that they will not be deprived of a ‘Life’. The more people are guaranteed a living income the more it becomes entrenched that it is Canada’s collective duty to supply that living income.
Would it not be more fundamentally ‘just’ to precede clause seven with:
“Each and every person (citizen of Canada) has the duty and obligation to be a law abiding, productive, peaceful member of society and a defender and protector of the person and rights of all other individuals residing in Canada.”
When persons are living according to their Charter duties, doing their best to be productive, only then would they have claim to a living income, notwithstanding disability, incapacity or old age.
More and more this move toward a guaranteed income has more to do with stimulating the economy than the surety of life. If so, Canadian society is in far deeper trouble than just fiscal management. The terminology the federal government is using reads ‘living income’ which is a step or two higher than minimum wage or social assistance. These monies to be given regardless of whether recipients work or meet a means test.
“Basic income is universal, unconditional and individual. That means every individual in society automatically receives a monthly payment… Whether you’re employed or unemployed, man or woman, rich or poor, you would get this money in your bank account every month,” said Jonathan Brun of Revenu de Base Quebec.
The opening lines of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms reads as follows:
“Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:”
Is Canada about to belie forever the Biblical passage, “Don’t you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” And now we’re getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep. Friends, don’t slack off in doing your duty.” 2 Thessalonians 3: 10-13
Stimulus money is a good and fair use of tax monies but not if unjustly given to individuals or corporations.