Class-action lawsuit launched against Province over cancellation of basic income pilot

Toronto Star

Four Lindsay residents have launched a proposed class-action lawsuit for breach of contract against the province in the wake of the Ontario Progressive Conservative government’s cancellation of the basic income pilot project.

Dana Bowman and Tracey Mechefske said at an event to launch the suit Monday they had made plans to improve their lives when they signed up for the pilot in April last year, providing the government with detailed personal information to be approved and expecting the pilot to run its three-year term.

Mike Perry, a social advocate for the program who is also a lawyer, is representing the plaintiffs in the suit, which he filed in court Monday morning. Perry is representing the plaintiffs pro bono. The two other plaintiffs are Susan Lindsay and Grace Marie Doyle Hillion.

Roderick Benns, publisher of the social advocacy magazine The Lindsay Advocate, organized the event, saying the pilot program “was a chance to change the channel on how we look at poverty.”

Under the program, which the Liberals launched in April 2017, to run in test communities of Lindsay, Thunder Bay and Hamilton-Brant, more than 4,000 people were given a basic income of up to $17,000 a year. Couples received up to $24,000.

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