Canada

Liberals set to debate universal basic income, pharmacare, OAS hike

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OTTAWA —
Grassroots Liberals have taken up Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s call to “build back better” with gusto, coming up with a host of proposals to make Canada’s economy more equitable, more inclusive and more environmentally sustainable.

The top 42 of them are up for debate and votes today at the Liberal national convention, with sponsors hoping they’ll make it into the party’s platform for the next election, if not the budget to be unveiled in little more than week.

The priority resolutions include calls for a universal basic income, a separate guaranteed basic income for families coping with disability, a national pharmacare program and a ten-per-cent increase in old age security for Canadians 70 and over.

Others call for a “green new deal” to ensure a just and fair transition to net-zero carbon emission by 2050, investments in “transformational projects” to create jobs for workers displaced by that transition and tax incentives for large corporations to invest in renewable resource development.

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There are also calls for investments in affordable housing, a trans-Canada high-speed rail line, expanded access to high-speed Internet and measures to turn Canada into an “agricultural superpower.”

There are few resolutions that contemplate ways to pay for all the costly new investments, apart from one that calls for imposition of an inheritance tax on all assets over $2 million and a 40 per cent reduction in the capital gains tax exemption.

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