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CANADA: Another Health Unit is Joining the Growing Body of Support from Public Health Organizations for Basic Income

File photo: www.sudbury.com

A local health unit in Ontario, Canada — the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit — has recently endorsed the concept of a basic income guarantee, joining the ranks of many local health units in Ontario who have done the same, such as the Simcoe Muskoka and Sudbury District Health Units. The health units agree that a guaranteed minimum income could give families living in poverty the ability to meet their basic needs. The Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit notes that a basic income guarantee could have “health promoting effects, and reduce health and social inequities” and “is considered to have merits as an effective policy option.” Many other public health organizations in Ontario are saying the same thing.

In fact, the Association of Local Public Health Agencies and the Ontario Boards of Health (organizations which contain local public health units among their members) have also endorsed basic income and are calling on federal and provincial ministers to investigate basic income further. The official position of these groups is that they are “requesting that the federal ministers of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Families, Children and Social Development. Finance and Health; as well as the Ontario ministers responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy’ Community and Social Services, Children and Youth Services, Finance, Health and Long-Term Care, prioritize joint federal-consideration and investigation into a basic income guarantee as a policy option for reducing poverty and income insecurity.”

Support for this policy can be found within local, provincial, and national public health organizations. The Canadian Public Health Association, a professional association of public health practitioners, is calling on the federal government to “take leadership in adopting a national strategy to provide all Canadians with a basic income guarantee” — saying that every Canadian should be able to meet their fundamental needs for adequate housing and nutritious food, two key factors that affect the health of Canadians.

Key medical associations in the country have come out in support of basic income as well. In 2015, 194 physicians in Ontario signed on to a letter in support of basic income that went to the Ontario Health Minister, Eric Hoskins. In addition, the Canadian Medical Association has publicly voiced its support for a basic income.

For more information about the health organizations that have come out in support of basic income in Canada see the sources below:

 

Canadian Public Health Association, “Public Health Matters: Basic Income Guarantee.” CPHA, 2015.

alPHa, “Public Health Support for a Basic Income Guarantee.” Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa) 2016.

Canadian Medical Association, “2015 Canadian Medical Association Resolution: National Support for a Basic Income Guarantee.” CMA, 2015.

Jonathan Migneault, “Health Unit: Lift more people out of poverty with a basic income guarantee.” Sudbury.com April 25, 2016.

Jenna van Draanen

About Jenna van Draanen

Jenna van Draanen has written 110 articles.

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The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

4 comments

  • Before we can do this the Federal government needs to fund StatsCan so they can define poverty in Canada. Canada signed the UN Millennium Goals project almost 12 years ago. StatsCan has made repeated requests all of which our government(s) ignored. LIM is often used by groups, yet StatsCan states on their website, it is not to be used as a measure of poverty. There is nothing in the recent budget about poverty because no one is willing to deal with it. Best guess comes from Poverty Canada with a staggering 5 million Canadians in poverty. Their explanation is too long to repeat as a comment.

  • Davey Robinson

    I hope the federal government work fast toward resolving poverty. Oppurtinities are currently very limited for the vast majority of us stricken by poverty to get our foot in the door. We are suffering the economy and we are not being helped. The minimum wage jobs are not enough even for people who work 44 hours a week. Employers are exploitive and the laws and labor standards are all on the side of employer. That is how the capitalist model in Canada has rolled out. Just more misery for the people and more wealth for the rich

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