Poor pros­pered un­der Min­come

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

I would like to re­spond to Don Prid­more’s opin­ion piece. From 1974 to 1979 the Man­i­toba gov­ern­ment, with help from the feds, started a pilot pro­gram in the city of Dauphin, Man. Back then it was not called Ba­sic In­come Guar­an­tee but Min­come. Most, if not all of Mr. Prid­more’s fears and con­cerns were al­layed. With fi­nan­cial pre­dictabil­ity, cou­pled with a sense of emo­tional sta­bil­ity, and the fact that some­body cared, the poor pros­pered. Un­em­ploy­ment went down in the tar­geted group. The out­comes were deemed so suc­cess­ful that it was de­cided to ex­pand Min­come.

In the mean­time, the Con­ser­va­tives took over in Ot­tawa. Even the fact that it was start­ing to save money, which I thought fis­cal Con­ser­va­tives were all about, it didn’t match their ide­ol­ogy so they can­celled it. If you have never been sys­tem­i­cally poor you will never un­der­stand their plight, and not ap­pre­ci­ate what they can do if they are just given a chance. Dauphin Man­i­toba proved that. There will still be peo­ple who will take ad­van­tage of the sys­tem, but with a B.I.G. in place, the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple will grasp the op­por­tu­nity to im­prove their lives.

Roger Greaves,

Strat­ford

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