Basic income movement strong despite Ontario’s actions

The Star

The news that the new Government of Ontario has disgracefully decided to scrap the basic income (BI) experiments is incredibly disappointing and short-sighted. Coming on the back of the decision in Finland to not extend the experiments there, this could appear to be a major setback for the global BI agenda.

Moreover, it’s a huge blow for the 4,000 people participating in the pilot who, after a relatively short time, reported numerous positive effects of boosted economic security. Participants are rightly feeling betrayed by a government that only a few months ago — midelection — suggested it would leave the project intact.

The Ontario debacle, painful and unjust as it is, in no way amounts to a fatal blow for our movement. Advocates should acknowledge that setbacks are the predictable risk of playing the political game in the “major leagues.” As such, Ontario may be a battle lost — for now — but it equally represents a chance to reflect on the wider war. It is an opportunity we should grasp to hone our political strategies on multiple front lines.

In the spirit of rallying the troops for the upcoming fight, we offer several positive reflections against the backdrop of despair.

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