The Basic Income Canada Network is calling on the federal government to implement a Basic Income to help all residents to make it through the health and economic crisis. The idea is to simply send cheques out to people without trying to decide if they are eligible for Employment Insurance, or sick leave, or whatever. It can be recovered later through the tax system.
Other organizations, such as the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, are recommending dropping the rules of EI and social assistance and other programs, to get benefits out quickly.
Both approaches make sense, and at a certain level, are really pretty much the same. The government has already implemented emergency measures to help the economy by dramatically lowering interest rates, and will undoubtedly make some financial packages available to businesses that are hardest hit. So why not pull out the plug? Many people will suffer more than others in this situation. The self-employed without employees. The part-time workers. The people with limited sick leave or health insurance. Precarious workers of all kinds. People who have to take time off to care for their family.
This could be a very good time to experiment with a Basic Income, and higher taxes at the top of the income scale.