Now that all the major political parties seem to be latched on to the environment, the Green Party of Canada is turning its sights on the green stuff – or lack of it – in Canadians' wallets.
The Greens, holding a poverty conference this weekend, are considering a call for a guaranteed annual income in Canada – an idea that was pushed more than 20 years ago by the Macdonald royal commission on the economy, which also paved the way for Canada-U.S. free trade.
The guaranteed-income idea has been rattling around discussions of social-safety-net reform for many decades, but with the Greens and even some long-time Conservatives taking a new look at it, the concept could enjoy a resurgence in this highly political year.
In its simplest terms, it means a system in which all Canadians are entitled to a certain "floor" income. Some see it as an all-purpose, lump-sum replacement for all the other forms of subsidized social assistance – from child care to employment insurance.
Halton MP Garth Turner, ousted from the Conservatives, has recently posted a call for a guaranteed annual income on his website. "It's time," Turner wrote.
In an interview with the Toronto Star yesterday, Turner said this is an idea that blurs party boundaries, with left-wing advocates arguing for it on fairness and compassion grounds, while right-wing politicians such as Turner see it in terms of efficiency and individual rights. Source...