The pandemic has exposed significant gaps in Canada’s social safety net for working-age adults. Some governments and major political parties see the current economic circumstances as an opportunity to make fundamental changes to our income security programs — adapt them to the modern workforce and address the root causes of poverty.
On May 4, 2021, the IRPP held an in-depth conversation on the shortcomings of Canada’s safety net and the path forward. The event discussed the question, Is a universal basic income an idea whose time has come? Our guests included the members of an expert panel on this topic set up by the BC government and the authors of Covering all the Basics: Reforms for a More Just Society. This event kickstarted a series of webinars presenting how the BC panel’s research could be part of the discussion on the reform of Canada’s safety net for working-age adults, the topic of the next IRPP Art of the State collection.
David Green is a professor in the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia and an International Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London. His research interests centre around determinants of the wage and employment structure. This has entailed bridging between macro labour (worrying about general equilibrium effects) and micro labour identification issues.
Garima Talwar Kapoor is the Director of Policy and Research at Maytree. She previously spent several years with the Ontario Public Service, where focused on understanding how changes in the labour market and economy impact population health. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University.
Lindsay Tedds is an Associate Professor of Economics and Scientific Director of Fiscal and Economic Policy at the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary. She holds a BA in Political Science from Carleton University, a BA and MA in Economics from the University of Victoria, and a PhD in Economics from McMaster University. Before becoming an academic held several posts with the Government of Canada in Ottawa as well as in municipal government in the areas of public economics and policy implementation.
Colin Busby is a research director at the IRPP. Prior to this, he was the associate director of research at the C.D. Howe Institute. He has also worked at Industry Canada and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. While he writes broadly on economic issues, his emphasis is on fiscal and social policy.