Couillard administration begins to discuss potential Universal Basic Income initiative

By P.A. Sévigny on January 18, 2018

Although it’s presently considered to be among the most ambitious and progressive policy initiatives on the table, the Couillardadministration’s recent policy survey indicates that it’s going to take a while before there’s going to be any kind of a realistic discussion about a working UBI (Universal Basic Income) policy within Québec’s National Assembly.

While early reports indicate that an efficient and universal UBI policy could make a serious difference in the lives of the working poor, Simon Lejeune’s analysis of the Couillard administration’s recent UBI report describes at least 6 problems that must be dealt with before any government can realistically consider adopting a UBI policy.

While a growing body of evidence indicates that the UBI initiative could break the economic logjam that condemns millions of working poor who continue to live from paycheck to paycheck, others believe that UBI is nothing less than a ‘pie-in-the-sky’ utopia that could never become a working reality except for the poorest and most desperate people in our society. Complaints about ‘Universality’ could become an issue as many might wonder why the rich, the super rich, or the merely wealthy will get the same amount of money as those who desperately need any and all the help they can get. While some believe the UBI initiative may be the needle that finally breaks the welfare state’s back, several studies indicate that it (UBI) will not affect the community’s collective work-ethic as much as it will provide opportunities for people to improve their education, their job prospects along with time spent at home with the children. As ever, money is the big and possibly non-negotiable issue as the report continues to cite a real concern among critics who fear the government might use the UBI initiative to dismantle the welfare state that’s become such a major part of the economic status quo that defines Québec’s economy.

Although the UBI concept will require a lot of work, Lejeune believes that the UBI initiative continues to be a good idea that will eventually become as much of a Canadian economic reality as was Medicare when it was first passed by Saskatchewan’s provincial parliament. And just as the late Tommy Douglas – Saskatchewan’s former Premier — is now recognized as the father of Canada’s ‘Medicare’, it remains to be seen who will lead the fight for an effective, and truly Canadian Universal Basic Income policy.


Please login to post comments.

Editorial Staff

Beryl P. Wajsman

Redacteur en chef et Editeur

Alan Hustak

Senior Editor

Daniel Laprès


Robert J. Galbraith


Roy Piberberg

Editorial Artwork

Mike Medeiros

Copy and Translation

Val Prudnikov

IT Director and Web Design

Editorial Contributors
La Patrie