Ontario's basic income pilot project was widely expected to last three years, and for participants who made financial commitments based on that, the program's early end next week is creating new financial stress.
The province's previous Liberal government launched the basic income pilot in 2017 to see if more money could change the lives of people with low incomes, choosing 4,000 people to receive payments in the Ontario communities of Lindsay, Thunder Bay, Brantford and Hamilton.
Pilot participant Dana Bowman, who will now go back to relying on the Ontario Disability Support Program after her last payment arrives on Monday, says she was "completely gutted" when Doug Ford's newly elected Progressive Conservative government announced last summer it would be cancelling the program.Read more
Almost 37 years ago to the day, during the fiery aftermath of an early Margaret Thatcher budget, the prime minister was allegedly challenged to name just two economists who endorsed her agenda of cutting public spending in the midst of recession – a prescription that was otherwise sending waves through orthodox academic thinking. “Alan Walters, and Professor Patrick Minford,” she is said to have replied – before later remarking, “thank goodness they didn’t ask for three.”Read more
It may seem premature to debate the logistics of universal basic income(UBI), when the first hurdle is getting the public and policymakers on boardwith the concept. But policy can live or die in the details.
One thorny aspect is whether a basic income should target those of working age, all adults, or everyone. In the U.S., entrepreneur and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has chosen the all-adults approach. The cornerstone of his platform is a basic income, branded a “Freedom Dividend,” of $1,000 per month. This would be paid out to all U.S. citizens aged 18 and over, in the hopes of curbing poverty, allowing for creative and useful forms of unpaid labor to flourish, providing a safety net for those displaced by the automation of work, and even growing the economy.Read more
SURREY, B.C. — A panel of experts is looking at whether British Columbia could provide a basic income or if the federal government would have to initiate it, says the minister responsible for the province's poverty reduction plan.
Shane Simpson said Monday the aim of the strategy is to cut the overall poverty rate by 25 per cent and child poverty by 50 per cent within five years.Read more
An expert on the subject of the basic income guarantee, a proposed social program that would see all adults receive a regular payment from government, will be delivering two lectures in P.E.I. this week.
Evelyn Forget, an economist at the University of Manitoba, has conducted research on basic income guarantee programs in Canada and around the world. She is also the author of a new book, “Basic Income for Canadians: The Key to a Healthier, Happier, more Secure Life for All”.Read more
The cancellation of Ontario’s basic income pilot project was a major disappointment for the low-income participants who were counting on three years of secure income and for those who were counting on the research data evaluating the program’s success.
It was a bold experiment, where people with low incomes in five communities received monthly payments of $1,416 as individuals or $2,000 as couples. The researchers would measure whether those funds would improve the recipients’ overall health and mental wellness, as well as housing stability, education and training, employment and use of healthcare services.Read more
More than a thousand Hamiltonians who were part of the Basic Income Pilot Project will stop receiving cheques at the end of the month. The project was cancelled shortly after the Ford government was elected.
Hamilton food banks, including the Good Shepherd Venture Centre, have been busy this year and say even more people will soon be coming for help filling their pantry.
A new survey was published Monday outlining the effects the pilot project had on residents.”Seventy-five per cent felt they were eating healthier and didn’t need to use the food bank anymore,” saidTom Cooper, Director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.Read more
Basic income advocates aren't giving up the fight to have Ottawa pick up the cancelled pilot program as final payments draw nearer.
Tom Cooper, director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, said the lobby effort continues to have the federal government take over the pilot project ahead of participants receiving their last payments at the end of March.
He said he hopes basic income will be included in the federal budget, which is being tabled March 19.Read more
Jim Mulvale, a co-ordinator for the Ontario Basic Income Network, wants to share the stories of a group of 4,000 Ontarians who were part of a government-led income pilot program intended to create a better future that was taken away from them after the 2018 election.
The Caledon East resident believes the stories will share a different tone about the cancellation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot than the government is.Read more