Bootstraps Need Boots

One Tory’s Lonely Fight to End Poverty in Canada

Hugh Segal with foreword by Andrew Coyne

Bootstraps Need Boots

Hugh Segal with foreword by Andrew Coyne

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

216 pages
Cloth $34.95 ISBN: 9780774890458 Published November 2019 For sale in USA only

For more than four decades, Hugh Segal has been one of the leading voices of progressive conservatism in Canada. A self-described Red Tory warrior who disdains “bootstrap” approaches to poverty, he has always promoted policies, especially a basic annual income, to help the most economically vulnerable. Why would a life-long Tory support something so radical? In this revealing memoir, Segal shares how his life and experiences brought him to this most unlikely of places, beginning with his childhood in a poor immigrant family in Montreal to his time as a chief of staff for Prime Minister Mulroney and to his more recent work as an advisor on a basic income pilot project for the Ontario Liberal government. This book is a passionate argument not only for why a basic annual income makes economic sense, but for why it is the right thing to do.


Foreword by Andrew Coyne


1 The Cheery Edge of Poverty

2 The Missing Toy Box

3 Happiness, Anger, Religion, and Hockey

4 A Special Assembly at School

5 Starting the Political Voyage

6 Clear Choices Emerge

7 Policy Linkages and a New Idea

8 Sinews of Impunity

9 Learning from the Best

10 On the Davis Team

11 From Public to Private and Back

12 Learning from Mulroney

13 The Battle in the Senate

14 Testing a Better Way

15 Courage and Fairness Matter

Appendix; Selected Bibliography; Index

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