Group wants governments to consider basic personal income in Nova Scotia

Basic income advocates are calling on Ottawa and the Nova Scotia government to conduct a feasibility study on implementing a basic personal income in the province.

The Basic Income Guarantee Nova Scotia group says ``the time is right'' to examine how to take what it says is an important first step to eradicating poverty.

The group's chairwoman, Dalhousie University professor Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird, says more than 21 per cent of children and families in the province live in poverty with rates even higher for Indigenous and African Nova Scotians.

Kay-Raining Bird says a basic income guarantee could help address the effects of poverty including stress, food insecurity and unsafe housing.

The group says in a region like Atlantic Canada a basic income would also help people stay in rural and remote communities and work in seasonal industries the region depends upon.

It says as technology makes full employment ``elusive,'' many jurisdictions are looking at ways to ensure the basic needs of people are met outside the labour market.