Manitoba Liberals to pilot minimum income project if elected

If the Manitoba Liberals are elected April 19, they will pilot a minimum income program in a Manitoba community, says Liberal leader Rana Bokhari.

‘Manitoba can and should lead the country and the world in this area’ says leader Rana Bokhari

If the Manitoba Liberals are elected in April, Rana Bokhari says her party will conduct a minimum income pilot project to test the theory that a basic, guaranteed income improves the health and well-being of communities. (CBC)

If the Manitoba Liberals are elected April 19, they will pilot a minimum income program in a Manitoba community, says Liberal leader Rana Bokhari.

The project would see residents paid a guaranteed income. The province would measure how a basic income for all affects health, justice and employment, said a Liberal news release.

"This is something that other countries are experimenting with and we believe Manitoba can and should lead the country and the world in this area," said Bokhari in the release.

Researchers in the 1970s experimented with minimum income in Dauphin, Man. The federal government covered most of the experiment's cost: roughly $17 million for a community of 10,000.

In the study, about 30 per cent of the population of Dauphin was provided with a "mincome," as the guaranteed level of income came to be called.

The data from the experiment is now 40 years old and is in many cases incomplete, the Liberal release states.

University of Manitoba researcher, Evelyn Forget, called the study a success in 2010, saying the data showed guaranteed income led to improved mental health and fewer teenagers dropping out of school.

The Manitoba Liberals currently have one seat in the legislature.

With files from the Canadian Press.

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