Background Materials

There are thousands of articles, papers, reports, podcasts, videos and web sites concerning basic income directly or indirectly. Below, we present a selection of recommended resources for exploring basic income, including a number specific or particularly relevant to the Canadian context. Also, for the latest in BIG developments worldwide, see Basic Income News maintained by the Basic Income Earth Network. Additional resources can be found at the Basic Income Canada Network.

Here are some articles we would recommend to get started:

Income Security for All Canadians: Understanding Guaranteed Income: Covers all the major issues, from different models of how basic income works, to funding, pro/con arguments and a history of proposals in Canada, with good references for further reading.

To end poverty, guarantee everyone in Canada $20,000 a year. But are you willing to trust the poor?: Frames the possibilities of and barriers to basic income in Canada.

Good Poor, Bad Poor: Contains an excellent critique of the prejudice that the poor are lazy, dependent etc.

What would a Universal Basic Income Mean for You?: Conceptualizes the implications of basic income on the level of the individual

Basic income: just what the doctor ordered: Discusses health in relation to basic income guarantee

The Mincome Experiment – Dauphin, Manitoba

The Town with No Poverty: The Health Effects of Guaranteed Annual Income: 
Evelyn Forget explains the Manitoba Mincome experiment, which was a basic income in Canada in the 1970s. Key findings stemming from her analysis of archival data are identified

A Canadian city once eliminated poverty and nearly everyone forgot about it:
Summarizes the Mincome experiment briefly

International Basic Income Experiments

To Beat Back Poverty, Pay the Poor: Surveys Brazil and Mexico’s success with basic income, with programs reaching tens of millions of families.

Cash transfers can work better than subsidies on the “transformative” potential of basic income in India: Results of pilot projects in India

Designing a Basic Income for Canada

The Basic Income We Want: Statement from Basic Income Canada Network: Key guidelines for good basic income design.

How to put Canada back together again: Identifies basic income as one of “four big recommendations for repairing the tears in our social fabric.”


A Plea for Young People to Join the Fight for Basic Income: Makes a case for youth engagement in the struggle for basic income.




Check out more videos on the Basic Income YouTube playlist!

Who Is Dependent on Welfare?: A 13-minute video that shows how much “welfare” is paid out to corporations and people who are well-off in various forms of ‘subsidies’ not seen as welfare; focuses on the United States but relevant to Canada

Humans Need Not Apply: A 15 minute-video that explores the rapid rise of automation and robots and what this means for the future of human labour.