Ontario youth need a guaranteed basic income

The Spec

Ask youth what they would do with an extra $2,000 a month and the answers might surprise you.

Young people disproportionately struggle with mental health issues and undertake increasing student debts, all while facing a daunting post-pandemic-era job market at a time when many jobs are precarious, underpaid, or part of the gig economy.

In a recent webinar series held by the Ontario Council for International Cooperation’s Youth Policy-Makers Hub (OCIC’s YPH,) 92 per cent of respondents said they would support a guaranteed livable income (GLI) in Canada and most participants answered that $2,000 a month would give them better educational, health, and housing options.

Now, as CERB and CESB come to an end amid the various ongoing socio-economic challenges that young people face, a GLI offers a permanent solution and is a policy tool that can help better support youth and many other communities.

There are results. Previous domestic and international basic income pilot projects have demonstrated positive socio-economic and educational impacts on people across all social strata. For example, the Ontario basic income pilot in 2018 resulted in an improved standard of living for the vast majority of participants.

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