Ont. Liberal leadership candidate promises to bring back Basic Income Pilot

CTV News

Ontario Liberal leadership candidate Alvin Tedjo is promising to revive the Universal Basic Income Project, which was cut by the Doug Ford government this year, and expand it across the province if the party is elected in 2022.

In a major policy proposal, the leadership contender tells CTV News Toronto offering the program province-wide would come with a $5 to $6-billion price tag, but could also result in billions of dollars in cost savings and economic spinoffs.

"All of that money goes back into the economy immediately because they buy food, they pay for rent, they buy clothing and that adds to the tax base and people's incomes," Tedjo said.

The former Liberal government launched a pilot project in 2016, giving 4,000 participants a basic income -- $16,989 for a single person, $24,027 for a couple -- which cost the government $150 million.

The pilot was ended by the Ford government last March by then Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod, who claimed it was a "disincentive" for participants to find work. 

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