Canadian artists, writers, performers call for national basic income

TORONTO — A group of Canadian artists, writers, technicians and performers is calling on Ottawa to guarantee a basic income for anyone in need.

Novellist and screenwriter Emma Donoghue, poet George Elliott Clarke and opera singer Adrianne Pieczonka are listed among those supporting a call to ”provide financial security to meet people’s basic needs, regardless of their work status.”

The concept would involve the government making regular payments to citizens to meet their basic needs.

The request is detailed in an open letter written by visual artist Zainub Verjee, multidisciplinary artist Clayton Windatt and the campaign’s team leader, media artist Craig Berggold.

Signatories include the Writers’ Union of Canada, Playwrights Guild of Canada, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the Canadian Federation of Musicians and the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

The letter says the COVID-19 pandemic has put millions of Canadians out of work, and has ”deeply affected” those in the arts, culture, heritage, tourism, and creative industries.

It’s part of an ongoing campaign by the Ontario Basic Income Network to build support for a basic income, in partnership with Basic Income Network Canada and Coalition Canada.

Previous letters have focused on the impact of precarious income for women, small businesses, food security and health.

The latest push says many people in the arts-and-culture sector are subject to precarious short-term contracts, and many don’t receive benefits, paid sick leave, or employment insurance.

The group suggests a basic income guarantee that would build on existing programs, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Student art to represent Orange Shirt Day

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools project

Recovery plan inspires confidence but Canadians like working from home for now: Poll

Fear of a worse second wave may explain why workers want to work from home

Amazon sees its palm recognition tech in stadiums, offices

Palm recognition more private than other biometric technology

U.S. judge orders Canadian woman accused of threatening Trump to remain in custody

Suspect had one semi-automatic handgun and 294 rounds of ammunition

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

David Marsden: Molly Banister extension must be kept

‘It would be a mistake to take a sensible response to future residential development off the table’

Toronto Blue Jays won’t pitch ace Ryu in playoff opener against Rays

Toronto grabbed eighth playoff spot with a record of 32-28

The only debate moderator to return, Fox’s Wallace preps

Known as methodical, even-tempered and never showy

Steve Harvey talks show revival on Facebook Watch, NBC split

Launches new talk show ‘Steve on Watch’

Bubble hockey champs: Tampa Bay Lightning beat Dallas Stars 2-0, win Stanley Cup

Bubble hockey champs: Tampa Bay Lightning beat Dallas Stars 2-0, win Stanley Cup

Mahomes outplays Jackson to lead Chiefs past Ravens 34-20

Mahomes outplays Jackson to lead Chiefs past Ravens 34-20

The Finals are set: LeBron, Lakers will meet Butler, Heat

The Finals are set: LeBron, Lakers will meet Butler, Heat

Most Read