Considerations for Basic Income as a Covid-19 Response

  • David Green
  • Rhys Kesselman
  • Lindsay Tedds University of Calgary


The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been an effective tool in the ongoing pandemic crisis. Some have proposed that it should be made permanent and available more universally –that is, made into a form of basic income. A basic income raises many complex policy issues including its objectives, multiple design features, interactions with the existing system, its finance and fiscal federalism implications, to name a few. Since many of the same considerations apply to any basic income proposal, whether implemented across Canada or in a single province, we offer a set of questions that we believe must be considered in deciding whether and how to implement a basic income or any alternative social support policy.

Briefing Papers