Liberal leadership hopeful Michael Coteau is pledging to reinstate Ontario’s basic income pilot project, which the Ford government cancelled after promising to keep it during the 2018 election campaign.
Coteau, the MPP for Don Valley East, was involved in the pilot project as a cabinet minister in the Wynne government, and said the three-year study put Ontario “ahead of the game” on strategies to offset the effects of poverty.
“It was a shame to cancel that research that was being conducted,” Coteau said in an interview Thursday. “Everything is changing so drastically around us that understanding the basic income and being ahead of the game of other jurisdictions in understanding the concept of basic income and how it’s being used to mitigate some of the disruption that may occur with the change in economy” is important work.
He said it was a way to find savings “in the long term by putting the money in the hands of people versus systems. I was a big supporter of it and, if I was elected premier of Ontario, I would reinstate that project and expand it for research purposes.”
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