A basic income would help solidify the county’s food security. That’s one of the takeaways from a presentation by The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to County Council today, highlighting municipalities’ roles in taking action on food insecurity.

The presentation highlighted that municipalities are already taking action in addressing food insecurity in the region The Health Unit indicates steps taken in affordable housing, living wages, and policies to attract quality jobs are all helping with the issue, but add more could be done. The presentation highlights how keeping Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot could mitigate the effects, by providing more money for food. Social assistance rates that match real living costs and are indexed to inflation would also help, as would policies that encourage good jobs with regular hours and benefits.

Anti-poverty activists have spent the past 15 years pushing the Liberal government to rebuild Ontario’s social safety net after an era of punishing cuts under the previous PC government of Mike Harris.

They dread a return to the austerity of the 1990s, when the Harris Tories slashed welfare rates by 22.6 per cent, cancelled the construction of 50,000 affordable housing units and froze the minimum wage at $6.85 an hour for eight years.

That is why they are focused on ensuring all parties in the June 7 election continue to strengthen supports for the province’s most vulnerable residents.

The Point-in-Time Count for Homelessness in the Saskatchewan capital shows a great deal of people are without shelter.

A total of 286 people were counted in the Queen City in some form of homelessness, whether it be using public systems, public space, hidden homelessness or if the person didn’t know where they were staying.

“We only searched for three hours,” said Addison Docherty, the Director of the Point Time Count for Regina. “The point of the Point in Time Count is that it is a Point in Time reference to what’s happening in the city.”

There is a remarkable lack of enthusiasm for free money.

A recent poll asked people in the work force to rank their preferences: a higher minimum wage; legally enforced profit-sharing by employers; direct government subsidies to wages; and a universal basic income (UBI). Most of them put UBI in last place.

That’s not really surprising. People who cannot imagine a different economic environment are naturally reluctant to break the link between work and compensation. But if we are moving toward a future where work is not available for half the population, preferences may change.

Advocates are calling on the provincial and federal governments to provide a basic personal income — something they say could be a major step toward eradicating poverty.

Basic Income Guarantee Nova Scotia (BIG-NS) made its case at Province House Wednesday, hosted by NDP MLA Lisa Roberts. The group asked government to study the feasibility of paying a guaranteed basic income to anyone living below the poverty line.

One member of BIG-NS said that even though basic income programs can be costly, they could be paid for with existing government funds by simply reallocating the budget.

The province will reimburse thousands of people up to $700 each after an ombudsperson investigation found that the government miscalculated their income assistance payments.

In a report released Tuesday, the B.C. Ombudsperson said that the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction had incorrectly denied earnings exemptions to more than 500 people a year since 2012.

Chronic low income among so-called “family-class” immigrants is a concern that needs to be addressed not just for humanitarian reasons, but also to help sustain the Canadian economy, a new report from the Conference Board of Canada suggests.

As the country becomes more dependent on newcomers to fill labour needs, Canada should be looking to improve the labour market barriers and quality of life for newcomers, says the report released Tuesday.