Welcome to The BIG Push of Basic Income Canada Network (BICN)!
The BIG Push is a project of the Basic Income Canada Network. It is a historic national campaign for basic income in Canada. Please explore our site to learn more about basic income, our campaign goals, current work and executive team, and much more. Please consider getting involved, including donating to support our work. Thanks for stopping by!
Latest and Upcoming!
June 26 to 29, 2014: Don't miss the 15th International Congress of Basic Income Earth Network, taking place in Montreal over June 27th to 29th and preceded on June 26th by the North American Basic Income Guarantee preconference workshop day. This is a great opportunity to meet basic income champions from Canada, the U.S. Europe, Latin America and elsewhere! Click here to learn more.
June 20, 2014: What Kind of Canada Do You Want?A basic income guarantee is more than just an income program. Guaranteeing all Canadians an income that pays for food, clothing, heat and shelter speaks volumes about the principles on which we base our society. Such a society is fundamentally based on a belief that all people deserve respect and dignity as persons, and on a belief that we all have a duty to uphold and protect the dignity of all — what we receive, we also must give. Read the entire blog at: http://www.thebigpush.net/blog
May, 2014: RECOMMENDED: In this fantastic 13-minute video, Who Is Dependent on Welfare?, Ananya Roy of the University of California at Berkeley turns the notion of welfare on its head and makes a case for basic income as the proper alternative.
April 7, 2014: Prominent Toronto physician Dr. Philip Berger named as second appointee to The BIG Push's Campaign Council! Read the announcement and see Philip's abridged curriculum vitae.
March 24, 2014: Business and civic leader Mark Chamberlain becomes the first appointee to The BIG Push's Campaign Council! Read the announcement, see Mark's profile and check out his letter of support for the campaign!
March 19, 2014: See our campaign progress report for what's been accomplished thus far and for an overview of key work towards the end of June!
March 17, 2014: The BIG Push receives a letter of endorsement from Calgary-based public health physician and food insecurity researcher, Dr. Lynn McIntyre. See also Dr. McIntyre's co-authored 2013 paper, How a Guaranteed Annual Income Could Put Food Banks Out of Business.
March 12, 2014: On behalf of Basic Income Canada Network and The BIG Push campaign, Kelly Ernst and Rob Rainer wrote to Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, requesting a meeting with Mr. Trudeau and/or his "key policy personnel to explore the potential for expanding the system of basic income in Canada and to answer key questions that naturally arise around this public policy option." This letter follows the Liberal Party's biennial convention in February at which were passed two resolutions supportive of basic income (see February 24th news item below). The letter is in the spirit of advancing consideration within each of the major federalist parties for basic income as a vital public policy.
February 28, 2014: In rebuttal to a February 27th Toronto Star column by Carol Goar, Rob Rainer and Kelly Ernst of The BIG Push team make a short case for basic income's attractiveness, affordability and feasibility. Read their blog post.
February 24, 2014: Federal Liberal support of basic income emerges: At the Liberal Party of Canada's biennial convention February 20-23, 2014, held in Montreal, party members voted in favour of two policy resolutions in support of basic income. Resolution #100 was passed as one of 18 "priority" resolutions: see Creating a Basic Annual Income to be Designed and Implemented for a Fair Economy. Resolution #97 was passed as one of 14 resolutions stemming from convention workshops: see Basic Income Supplement: Testing a Dignified Approach to Income Security for Working-Age Canadians. The 32 resolutions passed at the convention (out of more than 160 brought to the floor) are not binding upon the Party's leadership. However, there is a requirement for the leadership to respond to them. At the least, it is apparent that within the Liberal Party of Canada, as also within the Green Party of Canada, there is explicit openness to and support for basic income.
February 21, 2014: The BIG Push receives a letter of endorsement from Toronto inner city physician, Dr. Gary Bloch. We thank Dr. Bloch for his wonderful support of The BIG Push! See also Dr. Bloch's powerful 2013 TEDx presentation titled If You Want to Help Me, Prescribe Me Money.
February 18, 2014: In this blog post, BIG Push campaign director notes how support for basic income in Canada is apparently strongest among low and middle income households, with a decline in support as household incomes rise. Nonetheless, strong majority support for basic income seems within reach. Click here for Rob's article.
February 3, 2014: New campaign report - Basic Income Programs and Pilots, by Chandra Pasma. In this 13-page report, Ottawa-based social policy analyst, basic income expert and The BIG Push campaign executive team member Chandra Pasma summarizes a number of basic income and basic income-like programs and pilots in Canada, the United States and overseas. The report provides evidence of basic income's promise as a transformational public policy whose time has come.
February 3, 2014 presentation to the Tamarack Institute's Cities Reducing Poverty Convener Community of Practice: in this 31-slide show, The BIG Push campaign director Rob Rainer touches on the rationale for basic income, addresses two predominant concerns about basic income, and highlights apparent public support for basic income. Click here for the audio recording of the conference call, with Rob's narrative beginning early on. Comments on this presentation are welcome: please contact Rob directly at rob.causeworth[at]gmail.com.
Basic income advancements worldwide
For "breaking news" and other exciting developments on basic income worldwide, visit the web site of Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) including, notably, the BIEN Newsflash.
I am now convinced that the simplest solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income. A host of positive psychological changes inevitably will result from widespread economic security. The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands, when he has the assurance that his income is stable and certain, and when he knows that he has the means to seek self-improvement. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
"A rich country must give everybody the assurance of a basic income. This can be afforded and would be a major source of social tranquility. Let us always keep in mind that nothing so denies liberty as a total absence of money,"
- John Kenneth Galbraith