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Universal basic income has roots that go back at least to the early 1970s.wutwhanfoto

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Universal basic income is back

Annie Lowrey’s Opinion column was a good overview of universal basic income or UBI (Smart Money: Why The World Should Embrace Universal Basic Income, July 14).

Unmentioned, and worth remembering, former senator David Croll pioneered the first study and report in Canada on UBI, then called a guaranteed annual income: Poverty in Canada – A report of the Special Senate Committee (1971).

Mr. Croll held public hearings across the country and commissioned the seminal research, which formed the basis for many subsequent studies and experiments. Its failure to be adopted was attributed to an economic downturn in the late 1970s and insufficient support by provincial governments. It is encouraging to observe that the idea is enjoying a revival.

Michael Clague, Vancouver


Ms. Lowrey’s long look at both the benefits and drawbacks of ending poverty with a universal basic income fell short by underselling its cost effectiveness. Right now, there are more than 100 welfare agencies that could be consolidated into just one.

Millions could be saved by having a universal basic income, as has already been proven from other experiments using UBI.

Hugh Jenney, Kingston

Bring science to sex-ed

We seem to be consistent with science when regulating age-appropriate alcohol usage and driving licencing – a brain is only fully developed to make prudent choices at 25 – and yet we seem to be fully naive (or stupid) when it comes to sex-ed curriculum.

Debra Soh made some very good points (Ontario’s Sex-Ed Backlash Isn’t About Children’s Safety, July 16). Let’s bring more science into the debate.

Maria J. Zatarain, Toronto


As I hear educators, politicians, parents, and activists decry the Ontario government’s decision to scrap the “new” sex-ed curriculum and adopt, even temporarily, the 1998 sex ed curriculum, I may be angry and disappointed, but I am also filled with hope and gratitude for those voices of opposition.

The outcry may not lead the Ford government to reverse its decision but it does tell young people across the province that there is a huge community of adults who care about their safety. This, too, is an education young people deserve. This fight is not really about the curriculum, a document few will actually read. It is a fight to make schools and classrooms places where young people can come together with teachers to discuss the issues that really matter to them – not only sexuality, gender, consent, and online safety, but also relationships, feeling valued and respected, and discovering who they are and might be.

While the Ford government may do away with the revised curriculum, my hope is that these crucial conversations will emerge – as they often do – in other parts of the formal and informal school day. What the Ford government does not recognize is that some of the most important lessons about sex education don’t happen during health class.

Jen Gilbert, associate professor, faculty of education, York University, Toronto


Having watched the all-candidates debates during the Progressive Conservative leadership race, I know that Doug Ford is responding to the grassroots of his party as he repeals the sex-ed curriculum. He was duly elected premier and he is now keeping his promise.

Why is there now an all-out offensive to derail the objective of the electoral base who have put him in office? As someone who voted Progressive Conservative, I say it is nice to see that your elected representatives are doing what you voted for them to do.

George Needles, Toronto

Not sporting

First off, why is a write-up about the Calgary Stampede in the Sports section of the Globe and Mail (A Calgary Stampede Six-Pack, July 14)? There is nothing sporty about these archaic and outdated activities, whereby animals are used and abused in the name of family fun.

The animal activities at the Calgary Stampede should have been eliminated and buried many years ago, in keeping with our ever-evolving mores and standards befitting an enlightened society’s views of acceptable activities in the name of entertainment.

Erik Warners, Nanaimo, B.C.

Applause for a pig

This is merely a thank you for the delightful story on Esther the Wonder Pig and the efforts by her guardians, Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter, to raise money for a large CT scanner (Esther The Wonder Pig Inspires Fundraiser For Large Animal CT Scanner, July 11).

The University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College is fortunate to have such an animal star in its corner. And Canada shows itself to be a kinder and gentler place if there are those in the population who give donations to such a cause as this.

The media is replete with dismal stories of cruelty to animals on a daily basis (not to mention cruelty to our fellow humans), so it is a joy to read of such a sweet outpouring of affection to a most fortunate pig.

Elaine Livesey-Fassel, Los Angeles

On the road

I read the recent news of Greyhound’s intention to eliminate almost all of its routes west of Sudbury with a degree of sadness and nostalgia (Greyhound Cancels Most Of Its Routes In Western Canada, July 10).

Sadness, because I know from working in a small community – even one that is close to a large urban centre – the unique transportation challenges facing rural Canadians. Nostalgia, because 40 years ago Greyhound buses opened the world to me.

On July 2, 1978, as an 18-year-old just out of high school, two friends and I bought backpacks at Sears and 30-day unlimited travel, for anywhere in North America, Greyhound bus passes. On July 3, we left the Ottawa station on the midnight bus to Sudbury. Somewhere just beyond Mattawa we got a flat tire. As the bus limped into North Bay the sky lit up in spectacular shades of green. An auspicious beginning to our 30-day Greyhound adventure.

Greyhound buses were not only our means of transportation across Canada and the United States, they were our hotels. Our strategy was to travel through the night and reach a new destination by day. We soon became experts at identifying prime seats and and areas of a bus to avoid.

Across the Prairies and on to the Pacific coast, to California and the U.S. Southwest and the deep South, to the hamlets, towns and major North American metropolises, Greyhound took us there. Just as important as the geography, it exposed a naive 18-year-old – as all bus travel does – to an incredible cross-section of humanity.

Thank you Greyhound.

Tim Waterhouse, Ottawa