LETTER: Academics Support Motion 46 Guaranteed Livable Basic Income
We are writing in support of the above mentioned motion, which seeks the conversion of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit to a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income. We encourage the House of Commons to adopt it, and, in turn, the government to implement it.
We understand a guaranteed livable basic income to be an entitlement of all members of the community, which is not contingent on labour market or educational participation and is sufficient to meet the basic needs necessary for integration into Canadian society. We further understand that implementation of a basic income will not eschew the requirement for income support programs, which meet special, exceptional and unique needs and goals as distinct from basic needs and for public services.
Our support for this motion is based on three reasons. First, there is evidence from decades of research that poverty is a significant determinant of premature mortality, elevated morbidity related to many physical diseases and mental health conditions, and increased risk of deleterious developmental and poor educational and occupational outcomes. For example, a 2019 consensus report of experts assembled by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicinei in the United States has come to the following conclusion after reviewing the research literature:
We find overwhelming evidence from this literature that, on average, a child growing up in a family whose income is below the poverty line experiences worse
outcomes than a child from a wealthier family in virtually every dimension, from physical and mental health, to educational attainment and labor market success, to risky behaviors and delinquency.
The expert panel concludes that these differential outcomes are caused by income poverty and are not the result of other factors correlated with income poverty:
The weight of the causal evidence indicates that income poverty itself causes negative child outcomes, especially when it begins in early childhood and/or persists throughout a large share of a child’s life.
There is equally strong evidence of the corrosive effects of poverty related to other age groups. Therefore, we support a guaranteed basic livable income because of its potential to prevent, reduce and eliminate poverty if the benefit is adequate. Of course, the effects of poverty are associated with health, social service and other public expenditures and with reduced capacity to participate in the labour market. Therefore, effective poverty reduction will free up and potentially increase public resources for alternate use.
The second reason that we support basic income is because of a strong evidence base that demonstrates the presence of its positive effects and the absence or limited occurrence of negative effects. For example, Dr. Evelyn Forgetii found a decrease of 8.5% in hospitalization compared to controls in her analysis of the Dauphin saturation site of the Mincome experiment and that high school completion rates increased during the experiment compared to the rest of the province. Many other basic income experiments and trials have also found evidence of positive health and educational effects.
Regarding limited negative effects, a recent reviewiii of basic income trials reached the following conclusion regarding labour supply effects:
The study examined 16 trials conducted in the past half-century in 12 nations in the developed and developing world with a cumulative sample of over 105,000 BIGiv recipients and found no evidence of significant reductions in either hours of work or labor participation rates in response to these programs
Similarly, there is evidencev that receipt of basic income does not produce the kind of stigma and alienation from the community that last resort social assistance has been found to produce.
The third reason that we support a guaranteed livable basic income is because it
constitutes a meaningful and pragmatic means of meeting human rights obligations and
concepts of social justice involved in our legal traditions, the Charter of Rights and vi
Freedoms, domestic legislation and international treaty obligations . The provision of a
livable basic income would constitute major progress toward actualizing Canada’s
obligation to guarantee its people the right to life and security of the person. We look forward to hearing about the progress of this motion.
Teresa Abada, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Western University.
Dr. Grace Adeniyi-Ogunyankin
Queen's National Scholar in Black Geographies Departments of Geography & Planning and Gender Studies Queen's University
Tracie O. Afifi, PhD, Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba.
Brenda Beagan, PhD
Full Professor (Canada Research Chair 2007-2012) School of Occupational Therapy
Raluca Bejan, PhD Assistant Professor School of Social Work Dalhousie University
Anne-Emanuelle Birn, MA ScD
Professor of Critical Development Studies & Social and Behavioural Health Sciences University of Toronto
Gary Bloch MD CCFP FCFP, Associate Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Robin Boadway, OC, FRSC, PhD
David Chadwick Smith Professor Emeritus Department of Economics
Dr. Jennifer Brady, RD, PhD
Applied Human Nutrition
Mount Saint Vincent University
Ph. D. Candidate
Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies. Western University.
Marni Brownell, PhD, Professor, Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Elaine Burland, PhD
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Department of Community Health Sciences,
Max Rady College of Medicine,
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Heather Castleden, PhD
Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair Department of Geography and Planning
Mariette Chartier PhD
Senior Research Scientist
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba Norma Coates, Ph.D.
Don Wright Faculty of Music
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
The University of Western Ontario
Patricia Collins, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Planning Queen's University
William H. Cooper, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus Smith School of Business Queen’s University
Andrea A. Cortinois, PhD
Dalla Lana School of Public Health
University of Toronto
Lead, Masters Stream, Collaborative Specialization in Global Health Co-Director, Global Migration & Health Initiative (GloMHI)
Crystal Dieleman, PhD, OT Reg(NS)
Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy Dalhousie University
Evelyn L Forget, PhD, Professor, Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Dr. Karen Foster (PhD 2012, Sociology, Carleton University)
Associate Professor, Sociology and Social Anthropology
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Sustainable Rural Futures for Atlantic Canada Director, Rural Futures Research Centre
Sid Frankel, M.S/W., Ph.D. Associate Professor Faculty of Social Work University of Manitoba
Roberta Hamilton, Ph.D. Professor Emerita Department of Sociology Queen’s University
Edward A. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Manitoba
Gerry Kasten RD, MSc, FDC Lecturer, Food, Nutrition and Health Land and Food Systems
The University of British Columbia
Mohammad N. Khan, PhD. Assistant Professor Faculty of Social Work University of Manitoba
Jeff Karabanow, Ph.D, RSW
Professor and Associate Director
School of Social Work
Co-Director, SW Community Clinic
International Development Studies (cross-appointed)
School Of Health and Human Performance (cross-appointed) College of Sustainability (cross-appointed)
Dr. Joseph Kaufert, PhD., Professor Emeritus, Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba
Michael Kiefte PhD, Professor and Director, School of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Dalhousie University
Niki Kiepek, PhD, MSc(OT), OT Reg.(N.S.), Associate Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, Dalhousie University
Sara FL Kirk PhD
Scientific Director, Healthy Populations Institute, Dalhousie University
Kate Korycki, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research Western University
Shari Laliberte R.N., Ph.D. Nursing
School of Health Sciences Vancouver Community College
Dr. Karine Levasseur
PhD, Public Policy (Carleton University) Associate Professor
Department of Political Studies University of Manitoba
Wayne Lewchuk, Ph.D.
School of Labour Studies and Department of Economics McMaster University
Rick Linden, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology, University of Manitoba.
Ernie Lightman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Social Policy, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
Naomi Lightman, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Sociology University of Calgary
Margaret Little, PhD, Full Professor, Gender Studies and Political Studies, Queen’s University
Keith Lowe, Ph.D.
Department of Community Health Sciences Max Rady College of Medicine
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Manitoba
Eleanor MacDonald, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Political Studies,
Canada Research Chair, Indigenous Peoples' Health and Well-Being Health Promotion Division, Faculty of Health
Donna Martin, RN, PhD (Nursing) Professor
Associate Dean Graduate Programs College of Nursing
University of Manitoba
Nicolas-Guillaume Martineau, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Economics, Glendon College, York University
Lynn McIntyre MD, MHSc, FRCPC, FCAHS
Professor Emerita of Community Health Sciences
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
James P. Mulvale, MSW, MA, PhD, RSW Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work University of Manitoba & St. Paul’s College
Nathan C. Nickel, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences Max Rady College of Medicine
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
Dr. W.G. Pearson, Associate Professor, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Western University.
Blake Poland, PhD, MA, BA
Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Director, Collaborative Specialization in Community Development Co-Director, WHO Collaborating Centre in Health Promotion Lead organizer, Toronto Community Development meetup
Jessica Polzer, PhD
Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research & School of Health Studies The University of Western Ontario
Brian Postl, OM, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS
Dean, Max Rady College of Medicine
Dean and Vice-Provost, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences University of Manitoba
Christopher Powell, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Ryerson University
Elaine Power, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Studies Head, Department of Gender Studies
Susan Prentice, PhD, Duff Roblin Professor of Government, and Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Manitoba.
Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird, Ph.D., Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Dalhousie University.
Graham Riches, M.A., Dip SA Emeritus Professor of Social Work University of British Columbia
Natalie Riediger PhD
CIHR Early Career Investigator
Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences University of Manitoba
Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg MD, CM, FRCPC, FCCMG, O.M., O.C. Distinguished Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health and Programme in Genetics and Metabolism
Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Leslie E. Roos, PhD, C.Psych Candidate
Assistant Professor Departments of Psychology and Pediatrics, University of Manitoba Affiliated Scientist, Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba
Junior Fellow, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
Noralou Roos, O.C., PhD
Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Assistant Professor, MSW, PhD School of Social Work Dalhousie University
Chelsea Ruth, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Researcher, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP)
Assistant Professor, Section of Neonatology, Department of Paediatrics & Child Health, Max Rady College of Medicine
University of Manitoba
Jan Sanderson, MPA , O.C.
School of Health Sciences and Community Services,Red River College
John Serieux (PhD), Professor, Department of Economics, University of Manitoba.
Tracy Smith-Carrier, Ph.D., M.S.W., B.Ed., OCT, RSW Associate Professor
School of Social Work
King’s University College at Western University
Bonita Squires, S-LP (C), PhD Candidate, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Dalhousie University
Thérèse A. Stukel, PhD
Senior Scientist, ICES;
Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto,
Carol Strike, PhD
Professor and Division Head
Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto
Ann Sutton, Ph.D.
School of Rehabilitation Sciences Faculty of Health Sciences University of Ottawa.
Dr. Jen Theule, PhD, C.Psych, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba
Brandon Trask, JD, LLM, SJD Candidate, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba
Lorna Turnbull, LL.B., J.S.D. Professor
Faculty of Law
University of Manitoba
Jenna van Draanen, Ph.D. MPH Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Sociology University of British Columbia
Kim Verwaayen, PhD, Associate Professor and Graduate Chair, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, Western University
Merlinda Weinberg, MSW, PhD Professor
School of Social Work, Dalhousie University
Julia Witt, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Manitoba.
Roberta L. Woodgate, PhD
Canadian Research Chair (Tier 1) in Child and Family Engagement in Health Research and Healthcare
Principal Investigator, IN•GAUGE
Distinguished Professor, Child Health and Illness
College of Nursing, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Cc. A, Anand N. Bains
F.P. Champagne J.Y. Duclos
S. Guilbeault P. Hadju
L. MacAulay C, McKenna M. Mendicino M. Miller
M. Monsef J.Murray M, Ng
S. O’Regan C. Qualtrough P. Rodriguez H. Sajjan
i National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2019). “A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty.” Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25246.
ii Forget, E. L. (2011). The town with no poverty: The health effects of a Canadian guaranteed annual income field experiment. Canadian Public Policy, 37(3), 283-305.
iii Gilbert, R., Murphy, N., Stepka, A., Barrett, M., & Worku, D. (2018). Would a Basic Income Guarantee Reduce the Motivation to Work? An Analysis of Labor Responses in 16 Trial Programs. Basic Income Studies, 13(2). https://doi.org/10.1515/bis-2018-0011
iv BIG is the acronym for Basic Income Guarantee, a term broadly in use as equivalent to basic income.
v Calnitsky, D. (2016). “More normal than welfare”: the Mincome experiment, stigma, and community experience. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie, 53(1), 26-71.
vi Standing, G. (2017). Basic income: And how we can make it happen. Penguin UK.
vii Kwadrans, A. (2016). Socioeconomic Rights Adjudication in Canada: Can the Minimum Core Help in Adjudicating the Rights to Life and Security of the Person under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Journal of Law and Social Policy, 25, 78.