Nearly 600 people have signed on to take part in a universal basic income (UBI) experiment in the northern Swiss town of Rheinau meaning researchers are close to hitting the number needed for the project to have any chance of going ahead.
In the seven days since the enrolment process began, 588 residents of the town have agreed to take part in the project which would see participating adults receive a monthly universal basic income (UBI) of 2,500 francs ($2,570) for a year.
This means the woman behind the experiment, Swiss filmmaker Rebecca Panian, has almost hit her target of at least 650 participants.
This figure equates to half the population of Rheinau and she considers it the absolute minimum level of participation required before the fundraising stage of the project can go ahead.
The Lindsay Advocate
City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger along with Chris Friel, Mayor of Brantford, and Keith Hobbs, Mayor of Thunder Bay, issued a joint letter to Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development expressing their concern with the sudden cancellation of the Basic Income Pilot Program and their united request to the Federal Government to assume oversight of the project.
“We’ve come together to share with Minister Duclos that there is broad-based support for the continuation of this important, evidence based program,” said Fred Eisenberger, Mayor of Hamilton.
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.
Letter to Editor
Gregory Mason notes that recruiting participants was challenging and suggests it would have been impossible to obtain quality data without actions just short of harassment. I am a member of the evaluation team based at St. Michael’s Hospital and McMaster University that replaced Mason’s firm as the third-party evaluator in September 2017. Mason’s claims about the feasibility of participant recruitment and data collection presume a knowledge he couldn’t possibly have — he was only with the project for less than 10 per cent of the recruitment — and is contrary to our experience in numerous other studies.
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.
Kate* escaped her husband's physical blows the day he finally left, but his financial manipulation was just beginning.
Days after they separated, he left his job and went on disability, cutting her income through child and spousal support in half. He's defied a court order to pay their mortgage, leaving her to make payments on the house alone while she pours even more money into the legal dispute. Even though she and their children are covered by his insurance, he's refused to send her the reimbursements after she pays for glasses, dental work or medication.
Kate is trained as a registered nurse. She would like to work, but one of her children is seriously ill, requiring daily care at home and regular trips out of town for treatment. When she was married, Kate said she tried to take multiple jobs but her husband wouldn't allow it. She was "100 per cent" dependent on him financially.
Thunder Bay- Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle says he's hopeful that the province's basic income pilot project can still be saved.
Gravelle said he made a Facebook post earlier this month asking for feedback from residents who have been "directly or indirectly affected" by the abrupt and early cancellation of the research project on August 1.
"This has been a disastrous decision by the provincial government," Gravelle told CBC News, "I don't understand it and certainly based on the responses I've received ... the program needs to be maintained."