Let’s return to a decade-old idea (centuries old really, but we won’t get into the arguments of Thomas Payne, Martin Luther King, Teddy Roosevelt, and many others) that was proposed by none other than the federal minister of children, families and social development and minister responsible for reducing poverty in Canada, Jean-Yves Duclos.

In 2008, when Duclos was an economics professor, he wrote a chapter promoting three policies to address Canada’s “economic security challenge.”

First on the list was a universal basic income to provide cash payments for all working-age individuals (with the amount declining as the level of income rises), replacing existing social assistance systems, but with the proviso that health and dental benefits be extended to all Canadians who need them.

As recently as February 2016, in an article published in the Toronto Star, Duclos confirmed a “guaranteed minimum income is a policy worthy of discussion.”

Is it not time to engage the federal minister responsible for poverty reduction on that discussion?