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This article was published 15/1/2016 (2110 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The provincial Liberals say they want to revisit the idea of offering Manitobans a guaranteed minimum income.
Leader Rana Bokhari said Friday her party, if elected, would launch two pilot projects in its first year in office -- one in the city and one in rural Manitoba -- to study the benefits of guaranteeing a minimum income for individuals and families.
A groundbreaking experiment -- known as 'Mincome' -- was undertaken by the province and Ottawa in Dauphin in the 1970s. The project, launched by a provincial NDP government and a federal Liberal administration, was cut short by new Conservative governments at the federal and provincial levels in 1979. A final report was never issued.
Bokhari said research information from the Dauphin experiment is out of date, and new data are needed.
She said a Liberal government would accept expressions of interest from communities to participate in the pilot projects, which would be designed with the help of researchers.
Bokhari said introducing a guaranteed minimum income has the potential to be more cost-efficient -- replacing several different programs -- while offering many benefits.
Proponents say it would improve health and education outcomes and lead to fewer demands on the justice system.
"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," the Liberal leader told a news conference Friday at the legislative building.
She said designating a specific neighbourhood for a pilot project within the city of Winnipeg might be complicated, but she said it was worthwhile trying.
Bokhari said economists from all political persuasions have supported the idea of a guaranteed income to eliminate poverty.
"If we want to reduce poverty, if we want to take care of those who are most vulnerable in our society, we need to start taking a much more aggressive approach," she said.
The Liberals say the objective of a pilot project would be to determine the costs, expected savings and net benefits of implementing a guaranteed minimum income for the province as a whole.
Those who do not require Mincome payments would see their allotment recovered through taxes at their source of employment, they say.
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.