This was a program that pulled people together across ideological divides, forming a working model that was the epitome of the compromise, respect, understanding and compassion that polls repeatedly suggest Canadians want from their governments.

In killing the pilot project, the Ford government forcefully undermined what for decades had largely been a conservative design. Conservative economic guru Milton Friedman advocated for just such a program back in 1962.

From the other end of the spectrum, Martin Luther King Jr. found common ground with Friedman in 1967, declaring, “The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.”

Following on that, Richard Nixon and his opponent George McGovern both supported the measure in their U.S. presidential debates.