Toronto, ON – On April 13th, a range of progressive experts, including anti-poverty activists, labour movement leaders, and academics will publicly debate the introduction of a Universal Basic Income. The event is co-sponsored by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) Toronto, Ontario Public Services Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 586, Ryerson Politics and Public Administration, The Leap, and the Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice & Democracy.
Basic income is a leading topic of political debate around the world. The Socialist party president in France, a contender for the Federal NDP leadership and the conservative Finnish government are all advocating various forms of basic income. Here in Ontario, the Liberal government is about to launch a basic income pilot project.
Guy Caron (NDP member of parliament) and Josephine Grey (Low Income Families Together) will be speaking in favour. John Clarke (OCAP) and Jessica Sikora (OPSEU Local 586) will be speaking against. The debate will be moderated by Avi Lewis (The Leap), with opening remarks byKikélola Roach, the Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice & Democracy at Ryerson University.
"The Leap Manifesto calls for a ‘vigorous debate’ about the introduction of a universal basic income because the issue has inspired so much passion and pision among progressives. At its worst, Basic Income could be a neoliberal tool to slash public services and weaken the power of workers in society. At its best, it could free low income communities from the indignities of a cruel bureaucracy, boost the power of working people and guarantee a dignified standard of living for all. The stakes are high: this debate is absolutely vital,” said Katie McKenna, Co-Executive Director of The Leap.
For more information about the event: https://leapmanifesto.org/en/basic-income/
Debaters and moderator are currently accepting interviews, and press are invited to attend the debate.