Youth for Basic Income: Pathways to Achieving the SDGs

Ever wondered what basic income is all about? Ever wish you had others to speak to about it? Although discussions on basic income have existed for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the conversation to the forefront of Canadian policy. Facilitated and organized by the Youth Policy-Makers at OCIC, the series of webinars, workshops, and resource-sharing activities helped participants understand the foundations of Basic Income and how it could be a pathway to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Basic Income Resource List

Past Events

From June to August 2020, OCIC’s Youth Policy-Makers Hub had hosted a series of conversations and workshops featuring a range of voices on this issue, to co-imagine how it could become a reality in Canada. A five-part series, consisting of three webinars, a design thinking workshop, and a Day of Action event, built participants’ knowledge and understanding of Basic Income from various perspectives and lenses.

BI 101: Foundations in Basic Income (June 11, 2020 | 12:00 – 1:30 pm EDT)

In this webinar, we explored the fundamental building blocks of Basic Income (BI), BI cases across industries and political lines, and BI through the lens of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The webinar also provides participants with tangible opportunities and methods to support Basic Income in Canada. For each webinar, we start with a 30-minute Conversation Café where participants go into breakout rooms for small group discussion to share and expand upon the learning of the day.

Missed the session? You can watch the recording of BI101: Foundations of Basic Income on our YouTube channel.

The Case for BI – Part I (June 18, 2020 | 12:00 – 1:30 pm EDT)

Featuring expert panelists on different segments of the BI conversation, the webinar focused on four cases for BI through a panel discussion and participant Q&A. For each webinar, we had with a 30-minute Conversation Café where participants went into breakout rooms for small group discussion to share and expand upon the learning of the day. Please note that the Conversation Café (breakout room) portion of the webinar was not recorded.

Panelists (see bios in the next section):

  • Dr. Gary Bloch, Family physician and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto
  • Senator Donna Dasko
  • Robert Kiley, City Councillor, City of Kingston
  • Shiva Mazrouei, Research Officer at YWCA Canada

Missed the session? You can watch the recording of The Case for BI – Part I on our YouTube channel.

The Case for BI – Part II (July 2, 2020 | 12:00 – 1:30 pm EDT)

Continuing the discussion in Part I, the last webinar focused on another four cases for BI through a panel discussion and participant Q&A. For each webinar, we had a 30-minute Conversation Café where participants went into breakout rooms for small group discussion to share and expand upon the learning of the day. Please note that the Conversation Café (breakout room) portion of the webinar was not recorded.

Panelists (see bios in the next section):

  • Fay Blaney, Indigenous educator and activist
  • Chloe Halpenny, Researcher at Social Research and Demonstration Corporation
  • Floyd Marinescu, Founder of UBI Works and CEO and co-founder of C4Media
  • Maggie Pham, Artist and entrepreneur
  • Paul Taylor, Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto

Missed the session? You can watch the recording of The Case for BI – Part II on our YouTube channel.

BI Futures Thinking Workshop (July 16, 2020 | 12:00 – 1:30 pm EDT)

After the webinar series, join the youth policy-makers for a virtual design thinking workshop to co-create and co-imagine futures where BI is a reality in Canada. Specifically, we will be focusing on the case for guaranteed liveable income and exploring questions like “What will such a shift mean for gender equality,” “What will such a shift mean for youth empowerment” and “How will it support international cooperation and the efforts towards sustainable development?”

Missed the session? You can watch the recording of BI Futures Thinking Workshop on our YouTube channel.

The Push for Basic Income: Letter Writing Day of Action (August 12, 2020)

Nine illustrated portraits of youth with colorful backgrounds and overlaying text that says The Push for Basic Income: Letter Writing Day of Action

Are you a youth who wants to see basic income become a reality in Canada? Do you want your voice heard?

Join OCIC’s Youth Policy-Makers Hub, Basic Income Canada Youth Network (BICYN), and the Canadian Council of Young Feminists (CCYF-CCJF) on International Youth Day (August 12) for a national day of action.

Have your voice heard by sending letters to your Member of Parliament (MP) about why you support a basic income in Canada. Nationwide, youth are expressing that there is a dire need for improved social assistance in this country, and that we can do better to make sure no one is left behind. Join youth as they advocate for a just and equitable COVID-19 recovery and read the Toronto Star op-ed by our Youth Policy-Makers.

How to take action

Download the simple 3-step guide on how to be a part of the day of action on August 12, 2020:

Twitter Template


“I’m from [city/town], and I just emailed my MP, @JustinTrudeau, @karinagould, @Bill_Morneau, and @BardishKW to share why I support a Guaranteed Livable Income for Canada 🇨🇦 as a young person. Will you do the same? #GLI4CAN #Youth2030 @UN4Youth”

“J’habite au [ville/village], et je viens d’envoyer un courriel à mon député, @JustinTrudeau, @karinagould, @Bill_Morneau et @BardishKW en soutien d’un revenu de base garanti pour le Canada 🇨🇦 . Allez-vous faire le même? #RGB #Youth2030 @UN4Youth”

Event partners


Established in 2020, the Basic Income Canada Youth Network is a group of engaged young people under 35 years who are passionate about basic income. Working alongside the Basic Income Canada Network, Coalition Canada, and other basic income and youth partners


The Canadian Council of Young Feminists (CCYF-CCJF) is an initiative by Senator Marilou McPhedran that builds upon her over twenty years of supporting youth participation at the United Nations and in international forums. By supporting youth, Senator McPhedran works to bridge the gap between young leaders, Canadian parliamentarians, and global citizenship.


Johannah Brockies

Johannah (she/her) is a graduate of the Guelph Institute of Development Studies with a specialization in Gender and Development and a Certificate in Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship. She is passionate about equity and community programming which led her to working in the non-profit sector teaching life skills to individuals with intellectual disabilities and promoting their independence and engagement in the community. Most recently, Johannah is participating in the Katimavik National Experience which will allow her to continue working in the non-profit sector in Ontario and British Columbia, as well as promote equity and Truth and Reconciliation nationwide. You can learn more about Johannah and/or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Erick M. Carreras

Erick M. Carreras has a diverse background in clinical and global health research, international and community development, as well as education. Erick has worked to promote Gender Equity and Social Inclusivity in the private sector in Barranquilla, Colombia; completed free-lance English to French translation work for a non-profit that helps establish Syrian Refugees coming to Canada who identify as a part of the LGBTQ2+ community; as well as field work and the administration of social programs created by, and for, urban Indigenous of Turtle Island residing in Ontario, Canada. Outside of work, he volunteers his time in various capacities to pay it forward and help both, remove inequitable barriers, and empower others, as we strive towards a more equitable and globally collaborative society, together. Erick is a passionate life-long learner, avid international film goer, and someone who loves being in nature.

headshot of Christina MuiaChristina Muia

Christina is currently a youth policy maker at OCIC.  She is passionate about poverty reduction and social justice which has led her to work and volunteer in the international development, nonprofit and public sectors on many projects including youth and women empowerment, climate change and food security projects. She is a current member of the Association of Professional Futurists, a global community dedicated to promoting professional excellence and demonstrating the value of futures thinking. She would like to continue strengthening work that has tangible impacts to young people in Canada and globally.

Farrah K. Seucharan

Farrah K. Seucharan holds 15+ years of experience in community work, specializing
in optimizing social change through outreach and coordination. As a young woman with chronic illnesses, Farrah’s targets involve reducing inequalities for marginalized communities by incorporating storytelling in policy to foster inclusive ways of living. Farrah is a current member of the Patient, Family & Public Advisors Council at Health Quality Ontario, and the founder of a social enterprise which now involves researching liminality and shifts in thinking. She is a Master’s Student at SOAS University of London specializing in Poverty Reduction Policy with a focus on inclusive growth.

Safa Shahkhalili

Safa Shahkhalili is a cultural anthropologist and international development consultant based in Toronto. She is an associate of Rain Barrel Communications – an international communications consulting firm that co-creates social good initiatives with partners, with a special orientation to the wellbeing of children. She has educational and professional experience in eight countries and has worked with a variety of organizations, including UNICEF and UNESCO. Her work has focused on various social justice issues such as urban poverty, disability rights, ethical consumption and social entrepreneurship, quality and inclusive education, and early childhood care and development. She is also the creator and host of the “Rethinking Development” podcast where she interviews international development and humanitarian aid practitioners regarding ethical issues, systemic challenges, and personal reflections on their work and the industry.

Argerie Tzouras

Argerie’s goal is to bring a gender-based analysis and an intersectional lens to both her daily life and work. With over 5 years of project coordination experience spanning across the nonprofit, development, and education sectors, she is passionate about sustainable development, gender equality, making communities more resilient and amplifying youth voices and experiences. Besides her current role as the Project Coordinator with YouthfulCities’ Pivot 2020 project, Argerie is also an active volunteer with Digna, contributing to organizational culture change within the Canadian International Cooperation community to adopt gender-responsive best practices to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse. With her own lived experience growing up in a single parent home, Argerie joins the Basic Income project and conversation to explore its policy impacts and opportunities.

Webinar Panelists

Headshot of Fay BlaneyFay Blaney

Fay Blaney is a Xwemalhkwu woman of the Coast Salish Nation. She is deeply committed to issues affecting Indigenous women. As an educator and activist, she has devoted her heart and knowledge to educating and mobilizing Canadians to better understand the impacts of colonization, capitalism and patriarchy on First Nations women.


headshot of Dr. Gary BlochDr. Gary Bloch

Dr. Gary Bloch is a family physician with St. Michael’s Hospital and Inner City Health Associates and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto.  His internationally recognized clinical, research, advocacy and innovation work focuses on the role of health providers in addressing social risks to health.  He is a senior fellow with the Wellesley Institute and an AMS Phoenix Fellow.

headshot of Senator Donna Dasko

Senator Donna Dasko

Donna Dasko was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 6, 2018. She is a respected national pollster, media commentator, and private sector business leader with considerable public policy experience. Dr. Dasko was formerly Senior Vice-President of Environics Research Group Ltd, and built the firm from a small consultancy into one of Canada’s leading research firms. During her career, she led major research studies for federal and provincial departments and agencies, private sector clients, and NGOs, in areas including the economy, budget priorities, tobacco control, health promotion, national unity, and many others. She was a leader in developing media-sponsored polling including the Globe-Environics Poll and election and special feature polling for the CBC.

She holds a Ph.D. and MA from the University of Toronto and a BA (Hons) from the University of Manitoba. Dr. Dasko is a Senior Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and taught in its Master’s program before her Senate appointment. She is a member of Statistics Canada’s Advisory Committee on Social Conditions.

headshot of Chloe HalpennyChloe Halpenny

Chloe (she/her) is a feminist, researcher, volunteer, and storyteller committed to a more equitable world. As a researcher with the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation, she leverages research and evaluation to inform evidence-based social policy and programming. After spending a year interviewing participants in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot for her Master’s research, she now serves as the Vice-Chair of the Basic Income Canada Youth Network and sits on the Basic Income Taskforce for Senator Marilou McPhedran’s Youth Advisory, advocating for a basic income on behalf of youth across Canada. Chloe holds an MPhil in Gender Studies from the University of Cambridge, an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University. She lives, works, and plays on unceded Algonquin land, colonially known as Ottawa.

Headshot of Robert KileyRobert Kiley

Supply teacher by day, City Councillor by night, Robert is a well-known community leader and speaker. He is passionate about climate change, social justice, democratic reform, and good jobs. Robert is also the chair of the National Basic Income Canada Youth Network and board member of the Climate Caucus.


headshot of Floyd MarinescuFloyd Marinescu

Floyd is the founder of UBI Works and the CEO and co-founder of C4Media, which provides software development news and learning events serving 1.2 million online on, and 8,000 attendees annually via QCon conferences in SF, NY, London, Beijing, Shanghai, and Sao Paulo. Floyd is an angel investor in over a dozen startups and has built teams and businesses in the US, Canada, China, Brazil, and Europe. Floyd is a CEO advocate for universal basic income and together with Paul Vallée, CEO of Pythian, organized 120 Canadian CEOs to endorse basic income in Canada in Oct 2018.

headshot of Shiva MazroueiShiva Mazrouei

Shiva Mazrouei is a passionate researcher, facilitator, and coffee-consumer. She is currently carrying out national research on women’s access to gainful employment as the Research Officer at YWCA Canada, focusing on the barriers faced by made-vulnerable women. Shiva has also led various initiatives and events focused on women’s experiences, diversity, equity and inclusion in her work in the non-profit and humanitarian sectors

headshot of Maggie PhamMaggie Pham

Maggie Pham is an artist and entrepreneur, based in Toronto Canada. Born in HK and raised in Toronto, she ventured into Montréal ten years ago and since then has been an avid researcher on capitalism, a community friend and world traveler. Maggie is always happy to discuss the mechanisms of society to further the discussion of evolution, when it comes to underserved and marginalized communities. Currently, she’s in Toronto working on her upcoming extended play record as well as helping her community make sense of the difficult history that we are going through in the present 2020.

Headshot of Paul TaylorPaul Taylor

Paul is an anti-poverty activist and the executive director of FoodShare Toronto, one of Canada’s largest food justice organizations. “Food,” says Paul, “is a fundamental human right.” Growing up in poverty has inspired his deep commitment to fighting for a more just society.


About OCIC’s Youth Policy-Makers Hub

The Youth Policy-Makers Hub (YPH) is a signature initiative of the Ontario Council for International Cooperation (OCIC). YPH is an multi-generational initiative that engages diverse youth from across Ontario in international cooperation policy processes in support of Gender Equality, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) action areas, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Learn more about the Youth Policy-Makers Hub.