YRFN supports a better and more just post-pandemic recovery by advocating to implement a Recovery Universal Basic Income. This would secure all people living in Canada with adequate incomes that ensure no one goes hungry, while building healthier, happier thriving communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the inequities in our social assistance programs and food system. Prior to the pandemic, the University of Toronto’s PROOF research team released a report stating 4.4 million Canadians are food insecure. This translates to one in eight Canadian households struggling to put adequate nutritious food on the table. COVID-19 has since triggered income shocks related to employment, health, caregiving, consumption, and social connection. These shocks have left people in financially precarious situations and at higher risk of becoming food insecure or more severely food insecure. People living in Canada don’t need another short-term fix. We need a permanent solution for food insecurity. Basic income (BI) has time and time again been pointed to as the most effective policy intervention to address food insecurity. A basic income would guarantee adequate incomes for everyone, to purchase appropriate food in a dignified way. For a just recovery we need to ensure no one goes hungry by providing all people living in Canada with a basic income.
Information on Income Security/Basic Income in Canada:
Evelyn Forget’s study findings from Dauphin Manitoba where the Mincome Basic Income pilot project took place: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200624-canadas-forgotten-universal-basic-income-experiment
A report that was released by McMaster on the Universal Basic Income Pilot project in Ontario and the CBC article outlining some of the key findings: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/basic-income-mcmaster-report-1.5485729
To learn more about organizations and campaigns advocating for Basic Income:
- Basic Income Canada Network provides information on basic income, promotes the idea and educates the public and policy makers about ways to support a basic income. They offer resources and templates for advocating for Basic Income.
- Ontario Basic Income Network is a coalition committed to seeing Basic Income implemented in Ontario, with a bold vision of dignity and justice for everyone, regardless of work status.
- UBI Works is an advocacy group that aims to see Universal Basic Income implemented in Canada. They currently have an active recovery UBI campaign.
- Coalition Canada – Basic Income
Income Supports and Other Policy Advocacy
While supporting the Basic Income Movement, YRFN acknowledges that Basic Income is not the only solution to Income Security nor should Basic Income be the only policy solution to ensure dignified livelihoods.
Livable Minimum Wage
- $15 and Fairness is an advocacy group fighting for a $15 minimum wage in Ontario and advocate for worker rights through decent hours, equal pay for equal work, paid leave, protections for migrant workers and more.
- Ontario Living Wage Network “is a place to gather resources and connect on the Living Wage Movement in Ontario.”
- Living Wage Canada provides “resources for calculating the living wage, becoming a living wage employer, and participating in a national living wage campaign in Canada.”
- Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association that work to advocate and raise awareness of the importance of affordable rental housing. They emphasize that affordable housing and a human right and determinant of health.
- Affordable Housing Coalition of York Region (A.H.C.Y.R) promotes Housing as a Human Right, takes leadership on sharing information and increasing understanding about the steps and resources necessary to increase access to affordable housing options for residents of York Region
Affordable Child Care
- Child Care Now is dedicated to advocating for a publicly funded, inclusive, quality, non-profit child care system. Our organization is non-profit, membership-based and regionally representative.
Numerous organizations have released statements or reports about the need to improve Ontario’s social assistance programs including:
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Ontario 360
- Feed Ontario
- Ontario Dietitians in Public Health
To explore these ideas some more, York Region Food Network is hosting “Hungry for Income” a panel discussion and conversation about food security and incomes. Register here to join the conversation on October 8th at 10am.