Parts of Canada will soon experiment with basic income


Parts of Canada will test a basic income program this spring — and it has support from conservatives and liberals alike.

Three cities in the province of Ontario will try it for three years. Four thousand low-income residents will get monthly checks, regardless if they work or not.

In terms of U.S. dollars, single participants will get up to roughly $12,500 a year. If they work, half the value of their earnings will be taken out of their basic income checks.

The idea is to support those looking for jobs, getting degrees, taking care of families and living on retirement savings.

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With a population of about 2.6 million, Toronto is Canada's largest city, with world-class restaurants, museums, universities and historic districts.

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Dine on inventive small plates at Chef Lorenzo Loseto's George Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Toronto. Menu highlights include an ahi tuna wrapped in sweet potato and a Cornish hen served with goat cheese and broccoli.

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If skiing is your hobby of choice, Whistler in British Columbia has some of the best slopes in the world.

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The town of Whistler itself has all of the charm of an alpine village in Europe.

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Over on Vancouver Island, the charming city of Victoria receives more than 3 million tourists every year.

Source: City of Victoria

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Its harbor is busy with whale-watching boats, seaplanes, and other seafaring vessels.

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Just outside of Victoria proper, Hatley Castle is an administrative center that once served as a dorm for cadets at Royal Roads Military College. Tourists can now take guided walking tours of the estate.

Source: Hatley Castle

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No grand tour of Canada would be complete without a visit to Banff National Park. The glacier-fed Moraine Lake makes for an especially dramatic vista.

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Just a few miles to the north, Jasper National Park offers more than 4,000 square miles of pristine wilderness for hiking and camping.

Source: Parks Canada

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In Edmonton, Canada, you'll find the world's second-largest indoor water park inside the largest mall in North America, West Edmonton Mall.

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Edmonton is a great place to sample cuisines from other cultures, especially Ukraine. The capital of Alberta is home to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, where you can learn about Ukrainians' immigration to Canada and learn how to make pierogis.

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To the east, Quebec City's claim to fame is the fact that it's the only walled city with cobblestone streets north of Mexico. There's a budding creative scene in the city as well as numerous festivals and fairs during the summer, thanks to the many artsy types who have settled there.

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The similarly French-speaking Montreal also has a European flavor. Visit the city's world-class museums and admire its quaint cobblestone streets and boutiques.

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And at classic shops like St-Viateur Bagel, you can try the famous Montreal-style bagels that some argue are even better than those from New York.

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Prince Edward Island may be best known as the home of Anne of Green Gables, but it's also an insanely beautiful spot packed with gorgeous beaches, lighthouses, and quaint towns.

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But if you live in the Northeast and want to keep your Canada visit short, consider a jaunt to Niagara Falls. We hear the view from the Canadian side is quite nice.

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Others say as more and more traditional jobs become automated and displace workers, a basic income may be necessary for more people in the future.

Manitoba tried a similar basic income experiment in the 1970s, and it found the program didn't make recipients less inclined to work.

But it ran out of funding halfway through, which left its data collection incomplete.

In a recent poll, two-thirds of Canadians supported the idea of basic income, but most were unwilling to pay more taxes to make it happen.

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