Basics of Basic Income – Rabia’s Welcoming Comments

On Friday, October 9, 2020 groups from across Canada partnered together to host the second webinar in the series “The Basics of Basic Income.” 

Rabia Khedr provided the opening remarks.  Here is a transcript of her comments:

“Good afternoon, everyone. At least it’s afternoon where I’m situated. So good morning. Good afternoon. It’s a beautiful Friday today. Entering into a long weekend. We have lots to be grateful for. We have lots to give thanks for even as times are tough.

As people with disabilities we have realized how tough indeed times are. However, ‘through every difficulty comes ease’ is a saying I strongly value as a value and as a principle. I view every obstacle as an opportunity.

COVID has highlighted the obstacles that people with disabilities face. COVID has brought forward the reality of the fact that there is a lot going on out there without us and we need to remind the world that there is nothing about us without us.

Although we have been chanting the mantra that no one should be left behind, we have been left behind during emergency measures and recovery efforts throughout the pandemic, in this country and around the world.

However, as I said, through every difficulty comes ease and with every obstacle, there is an opportunity. There is an opportunity created right here by the partners who have brought this conversation forward. This virtual conversation is for us to dialogue and discuss.

Monday was quite the historic day! As mentioned by Rebecca, we had over 260 people join in on the call. We heard wonderful information and historical evidence to support the idea of basic income from Evelyn Forget. We heard ideas and suggestions and experiences from Sherri Torjman. We heard from Guillaume Parent and responses from Steve Estey. We heard from you in our smaller group discussions, and through the chat and we continue that conversation today. We continue that conversation today with someone who needs no introductions with someone who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing through a phone call in recent weeks and months.  Alexandra will do more of the formal introduction.

I’m pleased to be co-hosting this with Alex today and joining the folks who are doing all the backend fantastic work and pulling this event together. It is an honor and a privilege to be amongst like-minded people amongst the disability community, the vast disability community, from sea to sea to sea in this country, the vastly diverse disability community.

It is time that we build a truly equitable, inclusive and accessible movement, a movement that champions nothing about us without us and make sure that it is truly about all of us, regardless of our race, regardless of our gender, or gender identity or expression regardless of our age, regardless of the type of disability regardless of our faith, regardless of what intersectional package we bring forward.

As people with disabilities, as Canadians with disabilities in this country, we are striving for a better tomorrow, a better today, in fact, and tomorrow. For every one of us, we want to make sure that nobody is left behind.

It begins within with our financial status, with our improving our social location, with addressing the gaps that we experience from province to province to province, by bringing forward a recognition of basic human dignity and basic human dignity that can be lifted up and guaranteed through such an income program .  Today is an opportunity for us to engage to define what that program should be before it is something about us without us. Thank you.”