Earlier this month, Green Resilience Project steering committee member (and chair of the Basic Income Canada Network) Sheila Regehr spoke to Keith Wiley on the EcoCentric Radio show about the role of income security when it comes to taking action on climate change.
Regehr and Wiley discussed how a basic income can help facilitate the shift away from a fossil fuel-reliant economy, creating a sense of security for those of us who are concerned about changes in jobs, the economy and other areas of life.
“What we wanted to do with the Green Resilience Project is actually go out on the ground with real Canadians in different kinds of communities, in different circumstances, and find out how these issues around climate change [and] income security are playing out for them, and what kinds of solutions they see,” Regehr said.
According to Regher, basic income pilots and comparable programs in Canada have shown that a guaranteed income gives people options. “When people are empowered to improve their lives, they do so,” she said. “People want to contribute to their society,” and programs like a basic income give them the ability to choose how they’ll contribute.
One of the Green Resilience Project’s early findings, Regehr said, is that communities are already operating at capacity, and may not have the time or resources to take action on new initiatives. The lesson for governments, then, is that they need to invest in communities in order to build capacity for people to take collective action.
Regehr hopes the Green Resilience Project’s community conversations will provide a catalyst for greater community involvement and create political will for leaders to take action on both climate change and income supports.
You can listen to the full interview here.