In the 1970s, a federally funded pilot project called Mincome sought to provide a Basic income guarantee to residents of Dauphin. MINCOME, a Canadian Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI) field experiment ran in the province of Manitoba between 1974 and 1979, and ended with no final report and no analysis of data.

The data was boxed up and put away. All 1,800 boxes of it. In 2011, Evelyn Forget got access to this data and analysed the health and social outcomes, concluding that “we found that overall hospitalizations, and specifically hospitalizations for accidents and injuries and mental health diagnoses, declined for MINCOME subjects relative to the comparison group and that “these results would seem to suggest that a Guaranteed Annual Income, implemented broadly in society, may improve health and social outcomes at the community level.”

In 2013, VPD recognized that “Recently there has been a worrisome increasing trend in persons exhibiting signs and symptoms of mental illness”. The MINCOME evidence of direct link between economic insecurity and mental health outcomes is a reminder that we need to have a conversation about the intersection of economic insecurity, poverty, and mental health.

#basicneedsbasicincome #basicincomevancouver