In 2017, the proposed Ontario Basic Income Pilot ("OBIP") gave hope to communities that have struggled with rising unemployment rates, housing instability, and poverty.
The program provided 4,000 individuals from cities including Hamilton, Thunder Bay, and Lindsay with a minimum monthly income to pursue continued education, pay for stable housing, support their families, and improve their overall quality of life.
The goal of the pilot was to offer a sustainable solution for poverty reduction and positively contribute to the health and well-being of Ontarians.
Ten months into the program, the newly elected Conservative government, and Premier Doug Ford announced its cancellation. Those benefiting from the pilot would no longer receive support from the provincial government and would need to make alternative plans for their financial futures. The lives of thousands were unexpectedly upended.
Instead of ending the cycle of poverty, the provincial government decided to cut funding and willingly ignore the astronomical costs associated with running the current social assistance program. Rather than investing in the well-being of individuals, the Conservatives cut the OBIP short to ensure it never reached its full potential.
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