Back in December, Jordan Press at Canadian Press dragged out the admission from Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos that the Liberals might “one day” enhance federal transfers to cover Canadians that get little from today’s income transfer programs. Those who receive very little today are adults who don’t have children and aren’t yet seniors. Providing more transfers to low income people in those categories would move us further towards a basic income in Canada.

Duclos has long maintained—and I agree—that we already have an extensive basic income system in Canada. Once you combine federal and provincial transfers to people without earned income, a floor on income is created. This is before factoring in social assistance and contributory programs like the Canada Pension Plan or EI. You get these transfers merely by being a citizen.