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When Planners Look Way, Way Ahead

Chris Cheung here. I write about the city for The Tyee. Last week, I got to hang out with a bunch of Metro Vancouver’s planners. I was invited to moderate a discussion hosted by Planning Institute of British Columbia as part of a sold-out event. The theme — a doozy — was what the next 100 years of planning might hold for Metro Vancouver. Panelists and audience touched on visions shaped by automation, inequality and more. All agreed on the timeless need for the planning profession to listen and learn from the people it serves in shaping communities. Thanks PIBC for letting this journalist spend an evening with you. (That’s me, blurry, farthest back, with panelists and organizers.)

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Basic income skepticism
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I have a couple of reservations about a guaranteed basic income. Would it be indexed? How could we be sure that people have full access to proper health care, education etc.? Or would there be an argument by some that once the masses got their basic income, they should not demand other things?

I am suspicious this might happen because some of the most eager proponents are Silicon Valley executives, who do indeed see the dangers of automation, but want to do the minimum required to stave off social unrest. Lastly, how will people who are not working find some purpose in life? I’m not suggesting most jobs are that meaningful; still, what will replace them?

Vinit Khosla, in He’s Urged a Guaranteed Income for Years. Are We Ready Yet?

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A Basic Income: What’s the Big Idea?

So we just had a federal election and one pretty huge issue never got raised in the televised leader debates: poverty. Canadians missed a chance to hear about a big idea gaining traction: a guaranteed basic income for all.

U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang is a fan. So is former Canadian senator Hugh Segal. Yang is a tech guy Democrat, Segal worked for Tory PM Brian Mulroney. Thinkers across a wide ideological range endorse a basic income as jobs get more precarious and the wealth divide threatens social and political stability. Dive deep to understand the basics of a basic income for all.

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