As an advocate for basic income, I am disappointed that the BC Government’s expert panel on basic income did not recommend a livable basic income guarantee (BIG) that would provide income security for all people living in poverty in BC, regardless of their work status. The report unfortunately sets up a basic income as an “either/or” proposition, instead of a “yes/and” one. The panel rejects a BIG and makes 65 recommendations on how to fix existing supports and services.

Bruce Boyko warms his hands above a portable propane heater, sitting on the ledge outside the Guelph Concert Theatre at the top of Wyndham Street. For now, this spot is home.

It’s -10 C outside as the sun sits high in the sky, -20 with the windchill, though the wind is partially blocked. He’s wearing a couple of winter coats and a thick winter hat as his hands hover over the heater and his breath crystallizes in the air.

Next to him is a cardboard refrigerator box turned on its side, with shoelaces strung across the inside to hold the sides up straight … or reasonably so. The bottom of the box is open so he can crawl in and out, with a piece of removable cardboard covering the opening and a small pole to hold the box open.

This is where he sleeps.

A proposed supportive, modular housing project in Barrie is already drawing opposition from its neighbours.

Sixty-seven of them signed a petition between Jan. 29 and Jan. 31, outlining their concerns about the planned Vespra Street development on the old fire hall site.

Joyce Chun, who owns property on nearby Sanford Street, said she had to do something when she heard about the project.

“This is so important I could not sit still,” she said, after helping circulate the petition. “There was overwhelming rejection of the idea. I don’t like it, the people don’t like it and I’ve got 67 signatures of people who don’t like it. And I only did a couple of streets.”

Tina Dawson has become a community leader at the parking lot encampment next to Victoria’s Royal Athletic Park. Dawson has only been homeless herself for nine months.

Yet Dawson says she won’t be signing up when the Save-On-Foods arena shelter a block away reopens March 1.

“I can tell you not one of these people here want to move in there,” she said.

“It’s inside a place that’s being monitored and controlled and you don’t feel the safety of having people we know as our neighbours.”

… in response to a request filed Friday by a legal clinic representing the homeless, Quebec Superior Court Justice Chantal Masse ruled that although the curfew was in the public interest, its application imperilled the lives, safety and health of people experiencing homelessness.

The judge noted that the Crown did not challenge evidence presented in court showing tickets — which carry fines up to $6,000 — had already been given to homeless people for allegedly breaking the curfew.

The lawyers requesting the suspension had argued that applying the health order to people experiencing homelessness is “useless, arbitrary, disproportionate and cruel.”

“It causes serious and irreparable prejudices that are not justified in the context of a free and democratic society,” read the request signed by law firm Trudel Johnston and Lesperance.

A government‐commissioned panel is recommending against the introduction of a basic income for all in British Columbia.

The panel’s report, co‐authored by academics at the University of BC, Simon Fraser University and the University of Calgary, says a basic income is not the cure‐all that some advocates believe.

The authors say a more successful strategy would be to reform current policies and programs as well as provide a targeted basic income for youth aging out of care and those with disabilities.