Julie Dzerowicz
Julie Dzerowicz
Member of Parliament for Davenport
Guaranteed Basic Income - Bill C-273

MP Julie Dzerowicz introduces Private Members Bill C-273 — An Act to establish a national strategy for a guaranteed basic income

In February 2021, Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport, introduced a private members bill in the House of Commons that would enable a national strategy for a guaranteed basic income in Canada. This is the first time a bill has been introduced in the House of Commons on guaranteed basic income.    

The objective of Bill C-273 is to provide an enabling framework for implementation pilots of basic income to be created between provinces, territories, Indigenous governments, and the federal government. 

To read the full text of the bill, click here.

To read why we need guaranteed basic income in Canada now, click here.

To read my statement of support for M-46, click here.

Why is change needed?

Canada’s current social welfare system was created in the 1970s and no matter how many times it is adjusted, still too many Canadians are falling through the cracks and our income inequality continues to grow.

There are literally hundreds of income and support programs for Canadians delivered by dozens of departments and ministries, creating a complex system which is one of the main reasons that our current service model misses many of Canadians most in need. Too often our system focuses on applications and auditing Canadians and less so on the actual support that they need.

Why now?

The world of work is under constant change with many shifting to the gig economy of temporary and short-term contracts; and others being impacted by the effect of automation and AI. It is important for our social welfare system to better reflect the needs of Canadians for today and tomorrow and to be much more flexible at managing labour changes, disruptions and transitions. Bill C-273 proposes that guaranteed basic income is tested as a model that may deliver more flexibility for the new world of workers. In fact, the governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward are seriously considering basic income pilots of their own. 

Also, as Canada moves its way through this pandemic, the federal government is planning for post-COVID with the intention to spend $70-$100 billion over three years to jumpstart the Canadian economy. This is the perfect time to fix structural issues, to test innovative ideas, and to build our economic and social foundations back better.

Why Basic Income?

Canada has been criticized for lagging on innovation and productivity. Strong policies, mechanisms and programs are needed to fully focus on improving our innovative potential including ensuring Canadians have the stability they need in order to innovate and take risks, which guaranteed basic income can provide.

Basic income experts, academics and thought leaders have made it clear that there is already strong existing information that supports the effectiveness of guaranteed basic income but less so on the best ways or models to implement and deliver it. Bill C-273 is focused on enabling the capacity to frame, test and validate different models of implementation to get to those answers and that data.

Despite existing government programs and our deliberate efforts to tackle income inequality, it continues to rise. There is an urgent need to bring our social welfare system into the 21st century and have an updated model that better supports Canadians and serves the needs of workers of today and tomorrow.

Links 

Introductory Press Conference on Feb. 25: opening remarks (speech or video)/ full press conference

Press Release announcing introduction of the Bill on Feb. 23

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