Hamilton council votes to denounce province's cancellation of basic income project

CBC News

Hamilton City Council has voted in favour of officially denouncing the provincial government's decision to cancel Ontario's basic income pilot project.

The vote was unanimous, despite concerns from one councillor that the move could harm the city's "somewhat tenuous relationship" with the new Ford government.

Ward 12 Councillor Lloyd Ferguson said what worries him is that council's move "won't change the province's mind."

"It's politically right, but is it right for our relationship with the province?" he asked, adding that criticizing a decision the government made over something that's clearly their jurisdiction could "annoy them."

​But Ward 4 Councillor, Sam Merulla, who brought the motion, said the denunciation isn't about bothering the government, it's about sending a signal that Hamilton won't condone any attacks on the city's most vulnerable.

"Turning a blind eye to something that's wrong, and this is wrong is so many ways, is being complicit with the fact that it's wrong."

The vote means Mayor Fred Eisenberger will now communicate with Premier Doug Ford, all MPPs, MPs, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to make Hamilton's disappointment at the cancellation of the project clear.

It comes after more than a dozen program participants shared with council how it had helped them during a meeting Wednesday.

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