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Basic Income Motion

 

Today, the Senate agreed to accept Motion 51. This Motion reads:

That the Senate encourage the federal government, after appropriate consultations, to provide support to initiatives by Provinces/Territories, including the Aboriginal Communities, aimed at evaluating the cost and impact of implementing measures, programs and pilot projects for the purpose of helping Canadians to escape poverty, by way of a basic income program (such as a negative income tax) and to report on their relative efficiency.

Below is an excerpt from Senate debates on the day the motion was agreed to:

 

The Senate

Motion to Encourage the Government to Evaluate the Cost and Impact of Implementing a National Basic Income Program—Motion in Amendment—Adopted

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Eggleton, P.C., seconded by the Honourable Senator Dawson:

That the Senate encourage the federal government, after appropriate consultations, to sponsor along with one or more of the provinces/territories a pilot project, and any complementary studies, to evaluate the cost and impact of implementing a national basic income program based on a negative income tax for the purpose of helping Canadians to escape poverty.

And on the motion in amendment of the Honourable Senator Bellemare, seconded by the Honourable Senator Harder, P.C.:

That the motion be amended to read as follows:

That the Senate encourage the federal government, after appropriate consultations, to provide support to initiatives by Provinces/Territories, including the Aboriginal Communities, aimed at evaluating the cost and impact of implementing measures, programs and pilot projects for the purpose of helping Canadians to escape poverty, by way of a basic income program (such as a negative income tax) and to report on their relative efficiency.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion in amendment?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion in amendment agreed to.)

The Hon. the Speaker: I remind honourable senators if Senator Eggleton speaks now it will have the effect of closing debate on this matter.

Hon. Art Eggleton: Honourable senators, I want to take 60 seconds to put this matter in context. First, let me thank Senator Bovey and all the other senators who have contributed to the debate on this motion. I know there are some people who may like or dislike the idea of basic income or are not sure about it.

This motion only says that the federal government should help to support the initiatives of the province. That was clearly the wording in the amendment we just adopted, and it added in the Aboriginal communities. It relates to projects in terms of basic income, to help in the evaluation and the various other aspects of it. That's simply all this motion does, and I would appreciate your support.

The Hon. the Speaker: Are honourable senators ready for the question?

Hon. Senators: Question.

The Hon. the Speaker: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Some Hon. Senators: Agreed.

Some Hon. Senators: On division.

(Motion agreed to, on division.)