The Development of a Guaranteed Annual Income in Canada and the Involvement of Canadian Churches

Lindsay, Robert (Rev.)
Publisher:  United Church House, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1976  
Pages:  11pp  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX196

A paper designed to educate church people about the concept of a guaranteed annual income as an effective "weapon against poverty".

Abstract: 
The primary purpose of this paper is to educate church people about the concept of a guaranteed annual income (GAI) as an effective "weapon against poverty". The paper points out that since 1971 the Federal Government has been committed to the GAI. The Special Senate Committee on Poverty in 1971, moreover, recommended GERI as the "Most effective structure" by which to combat poverty. Furthermore, the Hon. Marc Lalonde, Minister of National Health and Welfare, has, since 1973, proposed a guaranteed annual income for people who cannot receive income out of employment, and a supplement progamme for the working poor. He advocated a two-tier guaranteed income system. Presently the Federal Government is working on ways to implement such a programme. The Canadian public, it is observed, has yet to reach a consensus on the issue. The main apprehension among Canadians is the fear that the GAI "will contribute to the withering of the will to work" Rev. Lindsey, however, presents six counter-arguments to convince the reader that the GAI will not lead to "lowered productivity and staggering public costs." Lindsey defines poverty as "social separation" and strongly advocates GAI as the most humane weapon against poverty. The churches' role in the debate can be summarized in three points: firstly, to help bring about a positive attitude among Canadians towards the concept of GAI; secondly, to pressure the Federal Government to enact GAI as legislation; and thirdly, to critique seriously present government policies and new proposed programmes.

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