On a December afternoon, Frances Amy Richardson took a break from her quilting class to reflect on a groundbreaking experiment she took part in 40 years earlier.
“Well, that was quite a few years ago,” she said. “There was a lot of people that really benefitted from it.”
Between 1974 and 1979, residents of a small Manitoba city were selected to be subjects in a project that ensured basic annual incomes for everyone. For five years, monthly cheques were delivered to the poorest residents of Dauphin, Man. – no strings attached.
And for five years, poverty was completely eliminated.
The program was dubbed “Mincome” – a neologism of “minimum income” – and it was the first of its kind in North America. It stood out from similar American projects at the time because it didn’t shut out seniors and the disabled from qualification.
The project’s original intent was to evaluate if giving cheques to the working poor, enough to top-up their incomes to a living wage, would kill people’s motivation to work. It didn’t.
The taper was extinguished. On this signal the Body Guards, pages, and equerries mounted on horseback, and all was ready for setting off. The Dauphin was with the Dauphiness. They were expecting together the intelligence of the death of Louis XV. A dreadful noise, absolutely like thunder, was heard in the outer apartment; it was the crowd of courtiers who were deserting the dead sovereign’s antechamber, to come and do homage to the new power of Louis XVI. This extraordinary tumult informed Marie Antoinette and her husband that they were called to the throne; and, by a spontaneous movement, which deeply affected those around them, they threw themselves on their knees; both, pouring forth a flood of tears, exclaimed: “O God! guide us, protect us; we are too young to reign.”
Louise Françoise de Bourbon, Légitimée de France(1 June 1673 – 16 June 1743) was the eldest surviving legitimised daughter of Louis XIV of France and his maîtresse-en-titre, Madame de Montespan. She was said to have been named after her godmother,Louise de La Vallière, the woman that her mother had replaced as the king’s mistress. Prior to her marriage, she was known at court as Mademoiselle de Nantes.
Married at the age of eleven, she became known as Madame la Duchesse, a style which she kept as a widow. She was, Duchess of Bourbon and Princess of Condé by marriage. She was later a leading member of the cabale de Meudon, a group of people who centered on Louis, le Grand Dauphin her older half brother. Whilst her son, Louis Henri, Duke of Bourbon was Prime Minister of France she tried to further her political influence but to little avail.
Very attractive, she had a turbulent love life and was frequently part of scandal during the reign of her father Louis XIV. Later in life, she built the Palais Bourbon in Paris, the present seat of the National Assembly of France, with the fortune she amassed having invested greatly in the Système de Law.