HALIFAX—Basic income advocates are calling on Ottawa and the Nova Scotia government to conduct a feasibility study on implementing a basic personal income in the province.
The Basic Income Guarantee Nova Scotia group says “the time is right” to examine how to take what it says is an important first step to eradicating poverty.
The group’s chairwoman, Dalhousie University professor Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird, says more than 21 per cent of children and families in the province live in poverty with rates even higher for Indigenous and African Nova Scotians.
Kay-Raining Bird says a basic income guarantee could help address the effects of poverty including stress, food insecurity and unsafe housing.
The group says in a region like Atlantic Canada a basic income would also help people stay in rural and remote communities and work in seasonal industries the region depends upon.
It says as technology makes full employment “elusive,” many jurisdictions are looking at ways to ensure the basic needs of people are met outside the labour market.