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CANADA: Federal government fails to offer funding for Prince Edward Island basic income pilot

In December 2016, the Legislative Assembly of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) unanimously agreed to “pursue a partnership with the federal government for the establishment of a universal basic income pilot project” in the province.

The federal government responded on April 6, 2017, offering “data to support P.E.I. in developing a pilot” but not mentioning financial assistance — without which P.E.I. is unlikely to initiate a pilot study. The letter came from Families, Children and Social Development Minister Jean Yves Duclos, who has himself expressed interest in the idea of a guaranteed minimum income (what is commonly called, in Canada, a “basic income”).

According to Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker, who proposed the initial motion to seek federal support, the update from Duclos is “very disappointing” and entails that “it’s unlikely we’re going to see any material change here.”

However, Bevan-Baker also said that P.E.I. would continue its efforts to seek support from the federal government and that, if no federal funding is offered, the province might look into a smaller scale pilot study in one community or region: “Of course I’d love to see it tip to tip, but you know, if we have to settle for something smaller that could be funded solely through the provincial treasury, then at least that would be something.”


Sarah MacMillan, “Update on basic-income effort ‘very disappointing’,” CBCNews, April 7, 2017.

Reviewed by Dawn Howard

Photo: Prince Edward Island Provincial Flag CC BY-NC 2.0 Jamie McCaffrey

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 500 articles.

I was a statistician, then a philosopher, then a journalist for a certain Basic Income News, and I have never been the sort to wed myself to any specific position or career path. (I have always chosen to remain in the precariat for this reason: my sense of duty is strong enough that I’d risk imperiling my own self-development if I were to accept a permanent position.) If you want to learn more about what I’m about, and how I see my ideal roles in the basic income community going forth, read the “cover letter” of sorts that is my Patreon homepage (updated November 2017).

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One comment

  • NoDifference

    Well, let’s hope that the omission of information related to funding is only the Canadian federal government seeking more details on the exact methodology to be used in the study, or something else along those lines.

    Maybe the federal minister is just looking for further evidence of study integrity as justification for the project before he presents it to the parliament?

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