My Experience with Ontario's Basic Income Pilot

Raise the Hammer

I was one of the 4500 citizens in Canada to be given a basic income (BI). I applied for BI while working at a bank in downtown Hamilton. Part-time employment is all that is available as a modern bank teller.

The top priority given to us by our managers was to teach customers how to use our online banking platform and cell-phone application. The better I did my job, the fewer faces I saw coming into the branch. I was in the midst of a job-performance paradox, witnessing and facilitating the replacement of my job by technology. And moving up the ladder didn't make much long-term sense either, seeing as financial planners are now being publicly shafted in Super Bowl advertisements by automated robo-banking platforms like Questrade.

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Poverty reduction report in Thunder Bay, Ont., shows impact of basic income cancellation

City councillors in Thunder Bay, Ont., heard how the cancellation of the province's basic income pilot project is having an impact on some of the poorest people in the city.

The Lakehead Social Planning Council (LSPC) gave council a basic profile of those who are most affected by poverty, which the report said tend to be Indigenous people, women and those between the ages of 30 and 49. While the report gave many facts and figures on how many people in the city are affected by poverty, it also offered some solutions.

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Alberta Liberal platform promises basic income pilot project

CBC News

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan says his party will launch a pilot project to study the implementation of basic income, provide funding to hire 2,000 new teachers, change the province's voting system and largely eliminate income taxes in favour of a sales tax.

"Alberta Liberals believe that better is possible," Khan said as he announced the full Liberal platform at the party's campaign headquarters Monday afternoon in Calgary. "I encourage all Albertans to read our policies because we have the best pro-growth fiscal strategies of any party in this election."

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Increasing social assistance rates, pursuing BI high on Green priorities in PEI

CBC News

P.E.I.'s Green Party released its full platform for the coming provincial election Monday afternoon. The platform includes about $30 million in new spending, with the biggest chunk — $10 million — going toward increasing social assistance rates.

"We acknowledge poverty is a complex issue, but envision fewer people living in poverty by immediately increasing access to existing programs and services," the platform said. "I believe that Islanders want a government that presents a pathway toward a practical, harmonious, and affordable future," said Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker.

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Wynne wishes her government started basic income sooner

The Spec

Former premier Kathleen Wynne said she regrets that her government did not bring in the now-scrapped basic income pilot project earlier during their time in power. "I wish that we had done it sooner," the Don Valley West MPP said in response to a question from a basic income pilot participant at the Hamilton Public Library Monday.

The previous leader of Ontario's Liberal party said she was "fighting back tears" as she delivered the keynote address at an appreciation day for basic income participants.

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Basic income made Finnish citizens trust police more

Futurism

Not only can basic income make people feel better about their finances, but it can also make them feel better about society, according to a new report from Kela, the government agency behind Finland’s recently wrapped two-year-long basic income experiment. “Respondents who received a basic income had more trust in other people and in societal institutions” than people who didn’t receive payments, Kela wrote in the report — a finding that suggests basic income may lead to increased trust in police, politicians, and similar groups.

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Basic income participants are being left to ‘kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight’

Deidre Pike - Hamilton Spectator

I shared a sacred moment with a stranger this week. We stood together as the Earth rolled toward the Sun, allowing for rays of light to beckon pink and blue hues across the sky and become the new day. We witnessed this spectacle together in Lindsay, where we met behind the Days Inn and Suites.

While it was still dark we sipped our beverages and talked about our lives and the paths that brought us to this place. Corey lives in Mitchell and usually does his barn building work — installing trough, feed, and ventilation systems — closer to home. He lives with his partner who is pregnant with the first child they're bringing into the world together, and three other children he is proud to co-parent.

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