CEOs Bring Case for Basic Income to Queen’s Park

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Left to right: Mike Garnett (Bay Street Labs), Paul Vallée (Pythian), Floyd Marinescu (InfoQ & QCon), Audrey Mascarenhas (Questor) and Chris Ford (Capco) of
Left to right: Mike Garnett (Bay Street Labs), Paul Vallée (Pythian), Floyd Marinescu (InfoQ & QCon), Audrey Mascarenhas (Questor) and Chris Ford (Capco) of "CEOs for Basic Income" at Queen's Park today. (Photo credit: Moses Leal at FEATHERSTONE photo & imaging

Left to right: Mike Garnett (Bay Street Labs), Paul Vallée (Pythian), Floyd Marinescu (InfoQ & QCon), Audrey Mascarenhas (Questor) and Chris Ford (Capco) of "CEOs for Basic Income" at Queen's Park today. (Photo credit: Moses Leal at FEATHERSTONE photo & imaging
Left to right: Mike Garnett (Bay Street Labs), Paul Vallée (Pythian), Floyd Marinescu (InfoQ & QCon), Audrey Mascarenhas (Questor) and Chris Ford (Capco) of “CEOs for Basic Income” at Queen’s Park today. (Photo credit: Moses Leal at FEATHERSTONE photo & imaging

TORONTO – NEWS – Accounting for 1.4 billion dollars in combined annual corporate revenues, these CEOs represent a new voice in the growing chorus of communities, activists, and academics calling for the program’s preservation. Long understood as a pro-growth, pro-free-market solution to poverty eradication, Universal Basic Income (UBI) also has the capacity to unlock the potential of all Ontarians.

“We are here today to urge the government to embrace a forward-thinking, business-friendly solution to the great economic challenges of our time,” said letter co-author Floyd Marinescu, CEO/Co-founder of InfoQ and QCon. “As trends like automation and globalization are hollowing out the middle class and creating more low-income jobs, we need to empower all Ontarians to grow alongside the economy and partake in its prosperity. We see basic income as a way to embrace the future of work: it is not just a welfare solution, it is an economic necessity.”

In 1968, a thousand economists from around the world endorsed a version of universal basic income. They did so because, even then, there was a growing consensus that new structures were needed to ensure everyone would have the basic means to participate in the economy and innovate freely. In the 21st century, a basic income will enable Ontario to remain globally competitive by pushing back against the alarming impacts of market monopolization and technology displacing jobs.

In providing basic economic security, a basic income will allow Ontarians to retrain and invest in their long-term goals. It will allow recipients to pursue entrepreneurship fearlessly and realize their best potential. Not only would a universal basic income provide these protections, but it would also eliminate poverty and launch the greatest economic stimulus in Ontario’s history.

“We firmly believe that basic income is essential to supercharge Ontario’s economy in the 21st century,” concluded co-author Paul Vallée, President/CEO of Pythian. “We urge the government ‘for the people’ to listen to this growing chorus, respect the dignity of Ontario workers, and let the Pilot run its course.”