Ontario's new Progressive Conservative government announced on Tuesday it is winding down a basic income pilot project, breaking an election promise not to scrap the program that was brought in by the Liberals.
Single people in the pilot were getting up to $17,000 a year. For couples it was $24,000 — with few strings attached.
The idea was to study how the money affected people living on very low incomes, or provincial support programs. It was set to last three years. But just 15 months in, it's over.
Andrew Shaver lives in Thunder Bay and he was part of the initiative.Read more
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August 2, 2018: Cancelling the long-awaited Basic Income Pilot would be “a cruel, misguided breach of trust” says Basic Income Canada Network’s Sheila Regehr. The statement comes in response to recent comments from Ontario Premier Doug Ford casting doubt on the completion of the pilot. All parties in the last Ontario election agreed that the pilot would run to completion, and Basic Income as an approach to economic security has support across the political spectrum.
“We are heartbroken at the thought that women, men and children have started to regain hope and rebuild their lives around a government promise that is being dishonoured so abruptly. It is devastating,” stated Regehr and Joe Foster of Ontario Basic Income Network. “Out of human dignity and decency, we sincerely hope the Ontario government will reconsider its path and avoid perpetrating a cruel, misguided breach of trust.”
“The Ontario government may well determine that this program requires federal cost-sharing, but that is a matter for public discussion and should be based on the evidence and experience derived from the pilot project,” they added. “Better yet, the government could lead by beginning conversations now about how a national program, like the ones for seniors and children, is a feasible path that warrants exploration.”
“The Ontario pilot has attracted world-wide attention from researchers, policy makers and advocates, and our province can provide valuable leadership for better models of economic security for all,” notes Foster. “For BICN and OBIN, our work continues as the need for a basic income in a precarious world grows. We all need a modicum of security and stability in our lives, including the ability to trust our governments.”
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For more information, please contact:
The Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) and the Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN) are non-partisan, non-profit organizations. BICN’s website at http://www.basicincomecanada.org provides many resources, including the Basic Income primer series.
Basic income is an approach to economic security that is supported across the political spectrum by people from all walks of life, from public health authorities to business owners, farmers and faith groups, people struggling to make ends meet and those who are very well-off. It is a proven approach that we have used successfully in Canada for decades to support seniors and families with children, to the benefit of our society and economy. There is every reason to expect it can work well for other Canadians as well, far better than demeaning and stingy social assistance programs, or forcing those precariously employed to bear all the risk of life’s ups and downs on their own.
As advocates, we are fighting hard to keep the basic income program alive here in Lindsay. We are heartened by the strong support coming in, and yet we are also dismayed by comments that constantly circle around two big lies.
One is the idea that we can’t afford the pilot program.
The other is that the poor are ultimately lazy.
The truth is that not only can we afford the pilot, but we can afford a more universal plan for all Canadians as the pilot has already revealed many success stories in its infancy. Here in Ontario our GDP has only grown and this is an extremely wealthy province. It’s not really about affording something — rather it’s about the budget.Read more
The Lindsay Advocate
All over Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford promised over and over that “a new day will dawn in Ontario,” should he be elected, “for the people.”
Well, here’s his new day dawning for about 2,000 people who live in Lindsay, their lives just starting to be changed for the better by basic income — and it’s not the kind of day they were expecting.http://lindsayadvocate.ca/basic-income-gone-fords-abrupt-cancellation-of-program-devastates-lindsay/Read more
As a career counsellor in private practice, I work on the front lines of job loss, a negative experience for most individuals. But I also see how certain ideas about work get in our heads and control the way we think and feel. For example, my client, Robert, was laid off this past January after seven years as a Firmware Designer in a small hi-tech firm. He got a generous severance package based on his six-figure income. In his mid-forties and financially solvent, he consulted me about the pros and cons of taking some time off to relax with family.
Robert’s algorithm engineering skills are in high demand so there was no risk of him not finding another lucrative job after 6-12 months of unemployment…but he felt he couldn’t afford to take that time because he was worried about his mental health—he felt anxious about not working! * The importance of work as a source of status and meaning in our lives acts as a kind of psychological straightjacket. He soon opted for a new job with a U.S. employer that required him to travel once a month, further reducing his time with family.Read more
The following is the text of a speech given at the recent North American basic income congress, held in Hamilton. The author's first name is Jodi, and we are withholding her last name at her request.
You don't understand the feeling of shame until you have to call a family member to help you get to the hospital with your child because you don't have the money to park, cab or the ability to take a bus with a broken child.
I was a single mom to three amazing kids for many years: Two of them with special needs.
I was married and lived a comfortable middle-class life. We chose for me to stay home and be a full-time mom.Read more
There is a common trend when arguing against a Universal Basic Income (UBI) to use critiques that could apply to any policy. The logical thing to do, if we were to take this line of reasoning at face value, would be to stand for nothing.
Before looking into these criticisms, we should begin by addressing exactly what is a UBI. A UBI is an unconditional, liveable wage for every citizen. If it does not meet the three metrics of 1) unconditionality; 2) liveability; and 3) for every citizen; then it is not a UBI.Read more