As part of the Province’s efforts to reduce poverty and prepare for the emerging economy, three distinguished researchers have been appointed to lead a B.C.-focused exploration of basic income.
This work relates to a commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement between government and the B.C. Green Party caucus.
David Green, from the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia (UBC), will chair the expert committee. Joining him will be Jonathan Rhys Kesselman, from the School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University, and Lindsay Tedds, from the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary.
“Amidst trends like automation, part-time and contract work, the nature of our economy and the jobs within it are rapidly shifting,” said Andrew Weaver, the B.C. Green caucus leader. “There is strong evidence that basic income can provide greater income security, while saving costs in other areas. We proposed exploring how basic income could work in B.C., because government should have a plan for the changes on the horizon. The panelists are highly qualified, knowledgeable and creative thinkers. I am excited to work with them on this innovative project.”
The committee will oversee independent research to test the feasibility of a basic-income pilot in British Columbia. It will also look at how basic-income principles might be used to improve the existing income and social-support system. The committee will also consider the impact that advances in technology and automation, and other shifts, are predicted to have on the labour market over the next several decades.
The research will also include simulations that will look at how various basic-income models work with B.C.’s population. These will identify the potential impacts and financial implications of different approaches and economic conditions on B.C. citizens.
The committee will begin work this summer, assisted by researchers at the University of British Columbia.