Free event: Advocate hosts Art Eggleton to speak about need for national basic income

By Lindsay Advocate

Advocate hosts Art Eggleton to speak about need for national basic income
Art Eggleton.

The Lindsay Advocate will be hosting a free event on Oct. 5 in Lindsay, featuring retired Senator Art Eggleton who will speak on why Canada needs a basic income — and how to get there.

There are still 14 free tickets remaining out 110. The event will be held at the Pie Eyed Monk in Lindsay and is accessibility-friendly. To register, go here.

Eggleton has been one of the basic income movement’s greatest Canadian champions. He remains Toronto’s longest serving mayor in history and was well-known for his progressive approach to social issues in the city.

Eggleton was a member of parliament and cabinet minister for eight years and a senator for 13 years until his retirement in 2018.

His report In from the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness was a major call to action on many social issues, including income security.

Recently, his free e-book gathered leading experts together to discuss the persistence of poverty, income inequality, and the changing labour market as significant challenges. (Disclosure: This book was edited by Roderick Benns and Joli Scheidler-Benns.)

Eggleton has long maintained the need for a basic income, pointing to the famous MINCOME study in Manitoba. This basic income pilot project operated in the province in the 1970s.  Hospital visits dropped 8.5 per cent and workforce attachment remained strong with only new mothers and teenagers working less. Youth spent more time in school and graduated in higher numbers. The pilot was cut short by changing governments.

For Eggleton, the need for basic income is predicated on three things – the persistence of poverty, rising inequality, and the changing labour market.

Scheidler-Benns will also present her findings on the impact the Ontario Basic Income pilot — and its cancellation — had on the people involved. Her report ‘Signposts to Success’ was published by the Basic Income Canada Network and presented to the federal government.

To attend the event at the Pie Eyed Monk

The Ontario Basic Income Pilot was initiated by the Province in 2017 in three areas – Hamilton region, Thunder Bay area, and Lindsay. Four thousand people were involved, with nearly 2,000 of them in Lindsay. It was set to run for three years. When the PC government was elected in the summer of 2018, it cancelled the program in one of its first legislative acts.

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