Cette journée sera l’occasion parfaite pour vous informer et venir poser des questions sur ce que plusieurs considèrent comme la solution pour se relever de la crise de la pandémie, prévenir les problèmes provenant de l’automatisation (que la pandémie a aussi accélérée) et commencer à sortir du néolibéralisme qui crée un fossé toujours plus grand entre les différentes couches de la société et nous enfonce toujours plus dans le gouffre des changements climatiques.
Marquez votre calendrier pour le samedi 25 septembre prochain à 14h et venez discuter revenu de base avec nos experts sur le sujet!
Déroulement de la journée:
1ère partie: Présentation des intervenant-es et questions du public
2e partie: Présentation des élus et candidats politiques pour le revenu de base et questions du public
Alexandre Boulerice, député NPD à Rosemont-Petite-Patrie
Alex Tyrrell, candidat à la chefferie du Parti vert du Québec
Adrien Welsh, candidat du Parti communiste pour Laurier-Sainte-Marie
3e partie: Atelier de co-création pour la détermination d’un revenu de base adapté à notre réalité avec le public, les intervenant-es et les politiciens, débutant avec l’intervention de Younes Rhazi, universitaire en science politique à l’Université de Montréal, qui présentera les projets-pilotes adoptés par différents maires américains et canadiens.
Un service d’interprète anglais-français/français-anglais sera offert sur place. Il est recommandé d’amener une couverture ou une chaise pliante. Des collations et boissons seront disponibles! Pour ceux qui ne pourrait se joindre en présentiel, l’événement sera retransmis en direct sur notre chaîne Youtube.
Si vous pouvez nous aider, nous recherchons actuellement la participation d’organismes et d’individus pour:
Cet événement bénéficiera d’un service d’interprétation en simultanée. Puisque cet événement est entièrement organisé par des bénévoles, merci de nous aider financièrement si vous le pouvez pour rendre cet événement accessible à tous.
Veuillez noter que nous demandons le passeport vaccinal, ainsi qu’une pièce d’identité lors de notre événement. Le port du masque sera exigé et les règles de distanciation seront aussi recommandées.
Ensemble, faisons de ce projet de société une réalité!
Suivez-nous via notre groupe ou notre événement Facebook. Inscrivez-vous pour être tenu au courant des nouvelles de l’événement via Action Network.
Nouveau! Voici notre nouveau dépliant d’informations. N’hésitez pas à l’imprimer et à le distribuer autour de vous.
Basic Income Montreal would like to invite you to participate in the 2nd Montreal Basic Income Rally on September 25 at 2pm in Laurier Park (in Plateau Mont-Royal). This event is organized as part of the last day of International Basic Income Week where many citizens from all over the world will gather to talk about Basic Income.
Event: Montreal Rally for Basic Income Date: September 25 2021 from 2pm to 5pm Location in person: At Laurier Park (South of the Laurier Chalet), near Laurier metro station. Also accessible online (link to come soon).
This day will be the perfect opportunity to get informed and ask questions about what many see as the solution to recovering from the pandemic crisis, preventing the problems that come from automation (which the pandemic has also accelerated) and starting to move away from the neoliberalism that is creating an ever-widening gap between different strata of society and pushing us further and faster into the abyss of climate change. More details to come here or on the Facebook event.
If you can help us, we are currently looking for individuals and organizations to help: – Join the organization or volunteer at the event. – Share the event by email or on social media – Join the Basic Income Montreal mobilization and continue to advocate together after the event.
This event will offer simultaneous interpretation in English and in French. As this event is entirely organized by volunteers, please help us financially if you can, to contribute in making this event accessible to all.
Join us and let’s make this project a reality together!
In her large colourful glasses, UBI activist Claudia Leduc does not look like someone who has suffered from burnout. But, as is common with a lot of artists and cultural workers, she has had her fair share of struggles throughout the years. “Being primarily an artist and then a cultural worker, working galleries and stuff like that and then being freelance, I knew very well about the precarity of art,” she told me over the phone. “I just couldn’t handle anymore the work environment, I just like had a few work burnouts. So, a few burnouts here and there, and I really realize, okay, it’s the workplace that’s making me really crazy.”
Those unpleasant experiences led her to get involved with Revenu de Base Québec, a citizen initiative that advocates for universal basic income (UBI). UBI is a periodic payment the state would deliver to all its residents regardless of employment status or field of employment. Its goal is to reduce socioeconomic inequalities.
On Sept. 19, 2020, as part of the International Basic Income Week, Leduc and her organization set up an informational gathering at Espace Lafontaine to spread the word on UBI. The main purpose of the gathering was to disseminate information about the concept, which is still not widely understood in Montreal. While the gathering was meant to discuss UBI for everyone, a significant chunk of it was devoted to the specific potential of that monetary policy in creative industries.
The Precarity of the Artist’s Life…
The gathering featured panel discussion between five activists, researchers, and community organizers. Approximately 30 people attended, in compliance with pandemic guidelines, with many more joining in remotely on Zoom.
Younes, a young man with a gray leather jacket, was one of the attendees. A student of public administration and an American politics fan, he first heard of UBI during Andrew Yang’s presidential campaign. He was immediately captivated by the idea. He thinks such a policy has an important role to play in creative industries.
“My cousin is a filmmaker, and she also has a lot of friends in that industry. It sucks that they have to work on the side in order to finish their projects,” he told me in French before the event. “She has been in the industry for six or seven years. It took her that long to submit her first movie to a festival.” The delay was mainly due to financial constraints, as it took time for her film crew to find funding to make their movie. Even after seven years, with solid art direction experience under her belt, Younes’s cousin has not made any money from filmmaking. On the contrary, she actually had to self-fund all of her equipment and her logistical costs for attending festivals.
…And How COVID-19 Made It Worse
Laurence Dubuc, a researcher in industrial relations at the Université de Montréal whose work focuses on the work conditions of artists, is not surprised at those financial outcomes. Her research shows that most artists make little to no money from their work and rely on day jobs to survive. COVID-19 has been particularly difficult for them, with many having their contracts cancelled or pushed back several months. Many also lost their day jobs that are often done in industries that have been hit hard by the pandemic, such as the service industry.
“If you talk to artists in your social circles who have benefitted from the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (a COVID-19 emergency relief federal program that gives out $2,000 per month to any working-age Canadian resident who has been financially impacted by the pandemic), the majority of them will tell you that seldom in their career have they been able to rely on a monthly $2,000 income for several consecutive months,” she said in French during her panel presentation. “With $2,000 a month, we are dangerously close to the poverty line in Quebec. It isn’t normal that access to a more or less decent income isn’t a guarantee in our modern societies.”
Her speech struck a chord with the crowd. Nearly everyone raised their hands when she asked who in attendance was an artist or a cultural worker. Financial precarity was a predicament they were all too familiar with. “I am an actress and a single mother. As time goes on, I struggle to reconcile these two identities,” shared Élisabeth Étienne, in an emotional testimony in French Dubuc read during her speech. “UBI would allow any person who has talent in a creative field, not only those who are economically privileged, to have a career in that field. Art needs to be representational, but how can we artists make it if we don’t have the means to?”
How Finances Underpin Other Barriers
Socioeconomic status is not the only barrier to representation in the arts. Younes shared with me his cousin’s struggle to convince her family of her choice to pursue an artistic career. “My family is from the Maghreb region. It is an environment that is very conservative, where you have to pursue the hard sciences as a career. Often, you don’t have any choice but to do it, because you have no money and you don’t want to end up homeless. It’s a huge risk to say ‘screw it, I’m going to follow my passion’,” he told me. His cousin had to repeatedly challenge her mother to be able to do what she really loved. Younes thinks that if UBI existed, which would ensure the financial stability of an artistic path, she would not have had those issues.
And even when POC artists successfully make the leap into creative careers, they aren’t at the end of their financial troubles. “Discrimination problems are very present in the arts and culture industries. […] While now Indigenous artists benefit from some specific bursary programs, it is not the case for Black and other racialized artists”, Dubuc told me over the phone in French. “Things seem to have changed a bit with Black Lives Matter, where lots of institutions have released statements of solidarity […] but it is still performative. If you look at the leadership and the staff of many artistic institutions, it is still full of White people today.” She sees a direct link between the whiteness of artistic institutions and the smaller number of opportunities available to POC artists. The scarcity of opportunities have a direct negative impact on their income. According to her, the same mechanisms that work against POC and disabled people on the general job market are present in the cultural industries and exposes those artists to a higher likelihood of financial precarity.
The Road to Freedom
It is not a coincidence that UBI would ultimately be about claiming more freedom from all forms of oppression. “Freedom is independence. Freedom is the power to say no to those who want to give you orders”, said Pierre Madden, a member of Basic Income Montreal, in French during his impassioned panel presentation. “As if ‘work’ only meant having to bend over to the orders of someone who has more privilege than us.” Madden explains that the issue isn’t work in and of itself. He thinks the issue is rather employers who don’t pay their staff enough, “who take everything from them and subjugate them through hunger.” He thinks that when UBI wil be applied universally, we can all be collectively liberated and truly be able to do the work we want to do.
Leduc as well imagines many positive outcomes that would follow the implementation of UBI. “We’re going to be making so much more intelligent choices for the future. […] We’re going to have time to get involved as citizens to control what the government is doing,” she told me over the phone, sharing her vision of a direct democracy that would be able to effect real change since citizens would not be too worried about financial burdens to get politically involved. “We’re going to be all in charge of our choices instead of having representatives that we elect [to] decide for us.” In a society like that, everyone would be able to focus on things that are beyond their basic survival.
And the role of artists in all this? “We’re going to be able to just have trouble with what’s the meaning of life”, said Leduc with a laugh. “The artists are gonna go back to what they’re meant to do, which is think about those things and reflect on that.”
Update: Following the success of this event, Claudia Leduc has launched a Montreal-based basic income advocacy organization. Check it out here.
Le 19 septembre 2020, nous avons tenu notre premier rassemblement montréalais, dans le cadre de la marche internationale du revenu de base d’Income Movement et épaulé par l’organisation Revenu de base Québec. Cet événement fut un franc succès et s’est tenue par une belle journée ensoleillée dans le Parc Lafontaine, au coeur du Plateau Mont-Royal.
Dans le cadre de la journée de la marche internationale pour le revenu de base, une cinquantaine de personnes ont participé avec intérêt à l’événement qui présentait les intervenant-es suivant-es: