Saturday, January 9, 2016
BASIC INCOME GUARANTEE Public Informaiton Session
January 13, 2016 7:30 pm
54 Church Street, St. Catharines
The St. Catharines and District Council of Women and the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network believe that ending poverty is within our means and a basic income guarantee is part of the answer.
An important part of getting from here to there is education and awareness notes Gracia Janes, Convenor of the St. Catharines and District Council of Women. “That’s why we have invited Dr. Lisa Simon , Associate Medical Officer of Health for the Muskoka Simcoe Public Health Unit to talk about a basic income guarantee so people can develop a better understanding of the connection between poverty and health,” says Janes.
As a health care professional, Dr. Simon understands the link between income and health. The Muskoka Simcoe Public Health Unit was the first in Ontario to endorse a basic income guarantee. Thanks to her efforts, this action was followed by Ontario’s Public Health unit’s provincial body, the Association of Public Health Agencies last spring.
“Decades of research have demonstrated that income has a substantial impact on health at all ages, with implications for physical and mental health from childhood to adulthood,” Simon says.
According to the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN), “a Basic Income Guarantee ensures everyone an income sufficient to meet basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of their work status.”
It’s a simple idea that has been discussed for a number of years and even piloted in Dauphin and Winnipeg, Manitoba from 1974-79.
The evidence from Manitoba supports that people fare much better when they are income secure. From a decrease in hospitalization rates, less domestic violence, higher secondary school completion rates to a decline in teenage pregnancy, a basic income offers people stability in their lives which translates into improved social and health outcomes.
“The momentum for a basic income is growing nationally and internationally,” says Elisabeth Zimmerman, chair of the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network. “We feel a basic income guarantee is an important policy measure that has the potential to prevent poverty and combat income insecurity,” Zimmerman adds.
“Given the persistent challenge of poverty and the trend towards fewer opportunities for secure employment, a basic income guarantee has real potential to contribute to the reduction of poverty and its health and social impacts,” says Simon.
To learn more about a basic income guarantee, join the St. Catharines and District Council of Women and the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network on Wednesday January 13, 2016 at 7:30pm at the St. Catharines Centennial Library, 54 Church St., for an informative presentation.
For more information, please contact Gracia Janes, Convener of Social Justice St. Catharines & District Council of Women at 905-468-2841 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org