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
Monday, January 28. Outside it’s bitterly cold, winds swirl, and an Alberta Clipper is expected to bring up to 20 cm of snow. In Osgoode Hall’s courtroom number three all is calm and well-ordered. Tiers of dark wood benches line the room below a vaulted ceiling and an elaborate chandelier.
But there’s an air of expectancy: Basic Income is having its long-awaited day in court, and not just any court, but the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.Read more
Seventy-six years ago, an American psychologist named Abraham Maslow emphasized the process of growing and developing as a person in order to achieve one’s potential.
He called this process a ‘hierarchy of needs’ and, in a testament to common sense, said nothing was more important than basic physical requirements like food, water, sleep, and warmth, as well as safety and security.Read more
OBIP Chronicles – More than 33 per cent of respondents to a survey about the Ontario Basis Income Pilot were going back to school to further their education.
Jenna, a woman in her 40s, says her partner was able to go back to school and their son was able to participate in activities that helps with his motor disorder.
“My partner felt previous problems returning,” after the basic income pilot’s cancellation she says in the survey. “We only received a very small amount of money, comparatively, but it made a huge difference.”Read more
As we approach the holidays, many people who are receiving basic income are, for the first time in a long time, able to buy gifts for loved ones or can afford to do activities with their kids.
Giving is not only good for the soul, as the saying goes, but also one’s physical and emotional health. The evidence is unassailable.
- In his book Why Good Things Happen to Good People, Stephen Post, a professor of preventative medicine at Stony Brook University in the U.S., reports that giving to others can enhance health benefits in people who are coping with a chronic illness.
- In a 2006 study by Rachel Piferi of Johns Hopkins University and Kathleen Lawler of the University of Tennessee, giving was shown to even improve physical health and longevity because it decreases stress. People who provided social support to others had lower blood pressure than those in the study who didn’t, suggesting a direct physiological benefit to the power of giving.
The legal action against the Ontario government for cancelling the basic income pilot project is continuing on track, according to Lindsay lawyer Mike Perry.
The legal action is proceeding on two fronts. The first is a request to the court to overturn the Minister’s decision to cancel the pilot project. Originally scheduled to be heard in October, the matter will now be heard in Ontario Superior Court (Divisional Court) in late January, 2019.Read more
Mike Puffer (The Lindsay Advocate)
There’s certainly been a large amount of attention paid to the Province’s decision to end the Basic Income Pilot program early next year, rather than seeing the plan through fully to its original three-year time period.
As one of three Ontario communities selected for the program, the City of Kawartha Lakes has hundreds of residents currently receiving the guaranteed income payments.
Recently, members of Community Care’s health care team met with two clients who are Basic Income recipients. We heard their stories of how the program was making a bit of a positive difference for them and their families. Their willingness to share their stories was appreciated.Read more
Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner, and Green Party of Canada Leader, Elizabeth May, sent the following letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Dear Prime Minister:
We are writing to ask the Government of Canada to step forward to complete the Basic Income pilot project in Ontario. We believe the data and information collected from the pilot project is in the national interest.
As you might be aware, the Government of Ontario recently decided to cancel the Basic Income pilot program that was testing a transformative approach to tackling poverty.
The project was set to run for three years, providing payments to 4,000 low-income people in communities including Hamilton, Brantford, Thunder Bay and Lindsay. Single participants received up to $16,989 a year while couples received up to $24,027.Read more
Mayor of Prince Edward County, Robert Quaiff, sought support of a resolution to urge the provincial government to continue the Basic Income Pilot Project, its planned evaluation, and to create policies to encourage good jobs with regular hours and benefits.
Quaiff, in conversation at the recent AMO Conference with the mayor from Kawartha Lakes, learned the program appeared to be working well (in Lindsay).
The local Health Unit is strongly urging the Ontario government to reverse course and at least see the Basic Income Guarantee through to the end of its original three-year pilot phase.
A letter containing this message has been sent to the provincial government on behalf of the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge (HKPR) Board of Health, which in 2016 endorsed a position statement calling for a Basic Income Guarantee pilot program in Ontario. The position statement cited the fact that eliminating poverty is an urgent public health issue, as people on low income are more likely to have health problems and die younger than people with higher income.Read more