The time is ripe to start moving away from current welfare models and towards a basic income for Canadians, says former Conservative Senator Hugh Segal.
Former P.E.I. premier Robert Ghiz said in 2014 he supported trying a basic income on P.E.I., and the current government has told CBC News it still supports the idea.
Segal has written a plan for a basic income pilot project for Ontario, which he expects will go ahead next year. The plan proposes that those aged 18 to 65, who are living under the low-income poverty line in Ontario, earn a basic income of at least $1,320 a month. People with disabilities would receive $500 more.
Segal said in the pilot a random selection of welfare and disability payment recipients would be selected, along with some whole communities. In that way the impact on individuals and whole communities could be tracked.
Segal thinks other provinces, including P.E.I., should try pilot projects of their own.
While P.E.I. supports the concept, it says any pilot project would require "active and committed federal participation" and Segal made the same point in the report he wrote for the Ontario government.
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