Book Review: Basic Income for Canadians: From the COVID-19 Emergency to Financial Security for All

One of the surest paths to success on a complex issue is to find common ground with allies in adjacent areas. That makes Evelyn Forget’s Basic Income for Canadians a fantastic reference for anyone concerned with the economic shifts resulting from an effective response to the climate emergency.

Rapid decarbonization done right is about opportunity and gain, not loss and pain—an all-in response to the climate crisis would create tens of millions of jobs and trillions in economic activity this decade.

But the shift away from carbon means change and disruption for workers and communities whose livelihoods depend on fossil fuels. That reality has prompted much of the climate community and the trade union movement to focus on a just transition to steady, well-paid jobs as the fossil era winds down. Too often, though, the idea of a transition produces deep anxiety for people who quite reasonably wonder whether they’ll make as good a living in their next job, and what safety net they’ll be able to count on in the meantime.

A basic income helps answer those questions, and Forget’s guidebook helps connect the dots. She presents a lucid explanation of the concept, filled with practical, real-life examples of how a basic income delivers the autonomy, respect, and dignity that must be a bottom-line entitlement for everyone.

For decades, climate advocates have been fighting for a transition that is just and equitable for all. Basic Income for Canadians is an essential tool in the toolbox to make it happen.

Basic Income for Canadians: From the COVID-19 Emergency to Financial Security for All

By Evelyn L. Forget
Lorimer, 2020

Author

  • Deborah Mebude is CPJ's interim Communications Coordinator.

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