The British Columbia Green Party is proposing a pilot project that would provide residents of a small municipality in the province with a basic income, or guaranteed minimum income, for at least five years.
Under the project, which would replace existing provincial benefit programs, including income assistance in the town, the government would make payments to individuals or households regardless of whether they were looking for work or meeting any other conditions.
While the idea of providing a basic income has been around in various forms for decades and has at times found support across the political spectrum, it has seldom been tried.
“The concept of basic income is something that scares a lot of people,” said Andrew Weaver, the party’s leader and lone MLA. “People are resistant initially to change.”
By first introducing the change as a pilot project and not more widely, it would provide a chance to study how …