News; News & Events

CANADA: Liberal Party passes resolution for Basic Income

At its national convention in Winnipeg last week, the Liberal Party of Canada — the oldest federal political party in Canada, and the country’s current majority party — passed a resolution in favor of a guaranteed basic income.

This Priority Resolution states, “That the Liberal Party of Canada, in consultation with the provinces, develop a poverty reduction strategy aimed at providing a minimum guaranteed income.”

The rationale for the resolution draws upon Dr. Evelyn Forget’s analysis of the the success of the Mincome experiments, conducted in Dauphin, Manitoba in the late 1970s:

The ever growing gap between the wealthy and the poor in Canada will lead to social unrest, increased crime rates and violence. Research indicates that a guaranteed basic income can reduce this gap, and create social security while being cost neutral. …


… Dr. Evelyn Forget conducted an analysis of the [Mincome] program in 2009 which was published in 2011. Forget found that in the period that mincome was administered, hospital visits dropped 8.5%, with fewer incidents of work-related injuries, and fewer emergency room visits from car accidents and domestic abuse. Additionally, the period saw a reduction in rates of psychiatric hospitalization, and in the number of mental illness-related consultations with health professionals.

Roderick Benns, reporting on the resolution in Leaders and Legacies, contextualizes this breakthrough amid the growing popularity of universal basic income in Canada:

Quebec is currently looking into a form of basic income and Ontario has committed to doing a pilot project beginning this year to study the effects of a minimum income. Prince Edward Island has also expressed strong interest.

Senator Art Eggleton has been relentlessly pushing this issue, as has his retired counterpart, retired Conservative Senator Hugh Segal.

Mayors across Canada are also on board. In fact, no less than nine provincial and territorial capital leaders support basic income or at least pilot projects, with innumerable smaller city and town mayors across the nation declaring their support as well.


Liberal Party of Canada, “Poverty Reduction: Minimum Income,” WPG 2016.

Daniel Tencer, “Basic Income Now Officially Liberal Party Policy,” Huff Post, May 30, 2016.

Roderick Benns, “Liberals ready to shake up Canada’s social policy with basic income guarantee,” Leaders and Legacies, May 30, 2016.

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About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 512 articles.

Former lead writer and editor of Basic Income News.

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.


  • It is important that the Basic Income be given to all citizens whether or not they need it. It should be treated like normal income and included in taxable income.

    The purpose of doing this is to reduce the compliance costs that will take away much of the benefit if the Basic Income is “special”.

    Flat tax rates should apply to all income – including the Basic Income. Again the reason is to stop gaming the system and to reduce complexity.

  • Maurice DeNobrega

    Basic income is a starting point, not a safety net. I agree with Kevin Cox it is given to ALL citizens whether on not they need it.
    It will reduce all the overhead of maintaining multiple social programs like CPP, OAS, UI, GIS, etc..
    If implemented correctly it will eliminate poverty.
    A society is only as good as it’s weakest link.

  • Matthew Kukowski

    Automation will always displace profits. The birth rate for babies is far too low. 77 million seniors and very few babies born.

    Foreclosures on houses with Nation star is something very few are talking about. Bloomberg has the terminals and EBT has the systems and the Social Security numbers are your database for whom gets a card mailed to them.

    We have this notion that babies must work a minimum wage with mom at day care in order to survive. Just look at Hollywood movies… they are all about The Purge, Civil War and super man batman crap.

    Automated cars will NEVER happen under 18 trillion Federal Reserve Debt. We will NEVER see the end of terrorism without a Universal Income. We will never see the nuclear family and birth rates rise to match 77 million seniors. We will never see San Jose riots end..

    We are LUCKY so far America doesn’t end up like Europe with riots all over the place.

    EBT + SSN + Bloomberg Terminals = Universal Income

    New York rent does not match that of the rest of the country, so price it separate from the rest of the country. I do not think that anyone will really care how much they get, just that they get something.

    We are LUCKY we have computers to compute all this… in the 1960’s riots they did not have computers.

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