What Is Basic Income?

A basic income is a monthly, upfront cash payment delivered unconditionally to all individuals to cover the essential costs of living. It is then taxable based on total income


Basic Income offers more freedom, power and choices for Canadians to move forward in their lives.

Basic income would help low income Canadians cover their basic needs. For middle class Canadians, basic income would ease the pinch so many are feeling in the global economic downturn. It would create more disposable income to stimulate the economy, and support the small and medium-sized businesses that have been struggling due to COVID-19. 

In Alberta, the ripple effects of Basic Income would be felt in so many ways: from easing the financial burden of managing poverty (upwards of $9 billion dollars per year in Alberta alone), to opening doors for Albertans to find or create more rewarding work, to providing a safety net for domestic violence survivors, and more. 

Basic Income would positively touch so many Albertans’ lives.

Basic Income is not a new conversation.

Basic Income Alberta is a member-driven organization connected with basic income advocates across the country. Grounded in research, scholarship, and economic understanding, we focus on advocacy, education and local mobilization.

Support for Basic Income Has Been Building

For years, Albertans from across the political spectrum have been discussing the idea of basic income. Today, interest in Alberta has gelled and brought people together in ways that mirror the rise in support across Canada. 60% of Albertans support the idea of basic income.

Growing and Connecting – A History of Basic Income Alberta

Basic Income Alberta grew out of a community initiative attached to Calgary’s Enough 4 All strategy in 2017. It captured the interest of community members and stakeholders alike, and local momentum started to build.

That initial Calgary effort prompted Edmonton’s RECOVER Urban Wellness project to include a basic income community prototype in its 2018 social innovation lab. Meanwhile, the Calgary group coalesced into Basic Income Calgary, a collaborator of the greater Basic Income Canada Network.

The first full scale conference on basic income in Alberta was hosted by Basic Income Calgary in May of 2019. Make It BIG drew hundreds of Albertans to Calgary to explore opportunities, costing scenarios, and discussions about the economic influence a basic income would have for all Canadians. Interest was so high, Basic Income Alberta was born.

Basic Income Alberta proudly brings the western prairie perspective to the Basic Income Cross Canada Coalition and UBIWorks.

How Does Basic Income Alberta Work?

In addition to the mighty power of all the local groups and individual volunteers that contribute to Basic Income Alberta, backbone support is provided by Vibrant Communities Calgary and EndPovertyEdmonton.

We hold monthly virtual meetings as a large group, and have also divided our work into the following sub-committees:

  1.   Government and inter-sectoral relations
  2.   Educating Albertans about basic income
  3.   Mobilizing local communities

These subcommittees demonstrate our current strategic directions, though as the political conversations about basic income continue across Canada, new sub-committees may be added.

Our work is informed by the principles-based approach to a basic income, developed by Basic Income Calgary: 

  1.     Be universal and unrestricted
  2.     Be adequate
  3.     Be individual
  4.     Be complementary with other supports
  5.     Be a step forward

For more information about the principles-based approach, please visit Basic Income Calgary.

Want to help us make basic income a reality?

Sign up to be a Basic Income Advocate, and get access to toolkits, links and social content that you can use to make the case across the country.

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