Let's Talk about a Basic Income for Newfoundland and Labrador will bring together community and stakeholder groups, decision-makers, and researchers from across the province to raise awareness about basic income, and to uncover its potential social, economic and population health impacts in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Forum will provide an opportunity for diverse groups from across the province with interests in social justice, poverty reduction, economic sustainability, and public health to find common ground for action, and to engage with university researchers to build capacity for future research partnerships and collaborations on this important economic and social support.
A Basic Income is a guaranteed minimum income provided by government to all citizens. The Forum’s first objective will be to define what Basic Income is, and is not. By developing a working definition for Basic Income and outlining how a Basic Income might work in practice in our province, the Forum will dispel many of the common myths and misinformation about Basic Income, a concept all-too-often misrepresented in the media.
Individuals with an interest in Basic Income include community and institutional stakeholders, decision-makers, researchers and practitioners from various disciplines, including social justice, poverty reduction, economic sustainability, and public health. These individuals are dispersed geographically across the province and are often cut off from each other by institutional silos. Our second objective is to engage with a diversity of perspectives by collapsing distance and connecting individuals through local in-person meet-ups that will be networked through [the now familiar and widely accessible] video-conferencing technologies.
Recent experiences with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) demonstrated how a Basic Income could help to mitigate the effects of economic downturns. A growing movement in Canada (and globally) is exploring Basic Income as the foundational thread in a modern social safety net. An emerging body of evidence indicates that Basic Income would have positive impacts on social, economic and population health outcomes. Our project’s third objective is to present and discuss these impacts, from the perspectives of research, policy, service delivery and lived experience, with the intention of co-creating knowledge about the potential consequences of basic income on the lives people in this province.
The Forum’s fourth objective is to capitalize on these new relationships and newly shared understandings to foster future engagement between university researchers and communities of interest, through research collaborations and partnership.
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