Off the Hill: Isn’t it time? A guaranteed basic income for Canada

Off the Hill is a fast-paced live panel on current issues of national significance. It features guests and a discussion you won’t find anywhere else, centred on the impact politics and policy have on people, and on ways to mobilize to bring about progressive change in national politics — on and off the hill.

In May, co-hosts Robin Browne and Libby Davies talked about the idea of a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income. What is it, how would it work, and how much would it cost us?

Our panel was made up of MP Leah Gazan, who in December of last year introduced Bill C-223 which, if passed, would establish the first national framework for an unconditional guaranteed livable basic income for everyone over 17 in Canada. Senator Kim Pate also joined us for this event, she is responsible for Bill S-233 for Unconditional Basic Income. Rounding out our panel were Sheila Regehr, the co-chair of Basic Income Canada Network, and Karl Nerenberg, rabble’s senior parliamentary reporter.

Robin Browne is Off the Hill’s co-host. Robin is a communications professional and the co-lead of the 613-819 Black Hub, living in Ottawa. His blog is The “True” North.

Libby Davies is Off the Hill’s co-host and author of Outside In: a Political Memoir. She served as the MP for Vancouver East from 1997-2015, and is former NDP Deputy Leader and House Leader.

Leah Gazan is Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre. Leah is a member of Wood Mountain Lakota Nation, located in Saskatchewan, Treaty 4 territory. She is the NDP Critic for Children, Families and Social Development, Women and Gender Equality, and the Deputy Critic for Housing.

Senator Kim Pate was appointed to the Senate of Canada on November 10, 2016. She is an advocate for a basic income in Canada and has been active in building coalitions across the country with equality-seeking women’s, anti-racism, anti-poverty and human rights groups and organizations.

Sheila Regehr is a founding member and co-chairperson for the Basic Income Canada Network. She has nearly 30 years of federal public service work under her belt – spanning from front-line work to policy analysis and development, with policy expertise in areas of income security and taxation, such as child tax benefits, child support, maternity/parental benefits, pensions and social assistance. She is also the former executive director of the National Council of Welfare.

Karl Nerenberg is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and filmmaker, working in both English and French languages. He joined rabble as parliamentary correspondent in 2011.