OTTAWA — Despite the Liberal caucus’ push, and the prime minister saying the throne speech would focus on closing the gaps and caring for Canada’s most vulnerable, a guaranteed basic income won’t be the landmark of the government’s agenda Wednesday.
The throne speech will neither explicitly endorse nor close the door on basic income, two officials told HuffPost Canada. HuffPost is not disclosing the names of the officials because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Although a basic income won’t be a cornerstone piece of the throne speech, Wednesday’s document will still focus on other benefit programs to get Canadians through the pandemic. And because of the Liberal caucus’ firm support for a guaranteed income policy, a senior source said discussions on that topic will continue.
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette is scheduled to deliver a new throne speech on Sept. 23, threaded with bold visions and ambitious goals promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to serve as signposts for the “economic recovery of our generation.”
One perennial idea that has received renewed attention is a guaranteed basic income. It’s an idea the Liberals have explored in the month since Trudeau prorogued Parliament to give himself an opportunity to write a new, ambitious, non-binding, pandemic-themed agenda.
“There will be many different elements in it in terms of how we make sure that we’re closing some of those gaps in our social safety net and supporting vulnerable Canadians, which we’ve seen all too clearly through this pandemic,” Trudeau said Wednesday after two-and-a-half days of cabinet meetings in Ottawa.
Watch: UN suggests temporary basic income for the poorest could slow pandemic. Story continues below video.
Guaranteed basic income has found a groundswell of support on Parliament Hill during the coronavirus pandemic. The federal Liberal caucus recently voted the idea as a top policy resolution for the party’s upcoming national convention in...