Swift, a journalist from Kingston, began exploring the idea of a basic income in 2013 while working with the Sisters of Providence of Saint Vincent de Paul, a social activism group of Catholic nuns.
The duo met when Swift moved to Kingston and began teaching at Queen’s University.
Under the leadership of former Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, Hamilton and Lindsay were both selected as test sites for the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project in 2017.
This program allowed 4,000 low-income people to receive $ 17,000 if they were single and $ 24,000 if they were in a couple, and included a top-up of $ 6,000 for people with disabilities.
For people in low-paying jobs while participating, their basic income was reduced by 50 cents for every dollar earned until they hit a cap of $ 34,000 for singles and around $ 48,000. for couples.
This pilot program ended a few months after its launch when Doug Ford was elected Premier.
Swift and Power began interviewing people who participated in the pilot program in 2018 and published the book in May 2021.
“I hope everyone who reads this learns that Canada’s welfare system is broken, corrupt and cruel. We live in a country that has more than enough to provide everyone, ”Swift said. “Basic Living Income is a tool to tackle Canada – one of the richest countries in the world with millions of people living in poverty – Basic Living Income is one way to solve the problem gnawing and crushing Canada. ”
“My ultimate hope is that Canada will have a basic income for everyone who needs it,” Power said. “I hope that in 50 years, we cannot imagine having lived without him. It seems like a no-brainer to me ”
At Wednesday’s event, Swift and Power participated in a question-and-answer period and were joined by Peterborough jazz trio Chester Babcock.
For more information on A Case for Basic Income, Freedom, Security, Justice or to purchase the book, click here.
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