Judy Paul, The Lindsay Advocate
When I asked Jake about his school experiences, he replied that he had attended more than 10 different elementary and high schools.
Jake was in his early twenties. He told me his family moved a lot when he was growing up. I didn’t ask why, but based on what I’d heard from others it was likely for work opportunities, better or more affordable housing, or as a result of family break-up.
Jake was sitting across from me because he had not completed his Grade 12 diploma. He was on social assistance and his caseworker suggested that he consider returning to school. The first step was an educational skills assessment with me to determine his literacy levels and the most appropriate upgrading program.
Before administering the assessment, I spent a few minutes learning about each individual. Jake’s history was not unusual in that many of the people I saw moved frequently, but I found his story distressing. How difficult it must have been to experience so much disruption. Adolescence can be hard enough without the added strain of dealing with new teachers, catching up on course material and trying to fit in.
Would a basic income have helped Jake’s family? Would it have reduced the number of moves and allowed Jake to have enough stability and continuity to complete his schooling? It is difficult to say. There are many reasons why a young person quits high school; bullying, perceiving their courses as irrelevant, hanging out with the “wrong crowd” and skipping classes, or struggles with learning disabilities and failure.Read more
The Province is encouraging people who may be in need of a basic income guarantee for the next three years to call or email so they can enroll.
Kristen Tedesco, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Community and Social Services, says throughout October the government has been holding “in-person enrollment sessions in Lindsay.”
This has been mainly for people who had identified an interest when the Province had a booth set up at the Lindsay Exhibition in late September. The Ontario Basic Income Pilot officially launched in Lindsay earlier in October.
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock Conservative MP Jamie Schmale has clarified his position on basic income, saying he’s all for the pilot if Ontario Works is eliminated and the boutique tax credits go.
Schmale, who was not as specific in his first interview with The Lindsay Advocate, clarified his remarks on The Advocate’s active social media presence on Facebook.
“I think what didn’t come out clearly…is I am supportive of basic income if the civil service is substantially reduced,” Schmale wrote on Facebook.Read more
While a panel discussion about basic income was happening in Lindsay last Friday, there was a three-hour line-up to sign up for basic income at the Lindsay Public Library – a line that spilled out onto the street.
The parallel events show there is great community support for the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, certainly from an growing number of ‘average citizens’ who are increasingly made up of the so-called working poor.Read more
The Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN) is hosting a free public discussion on basic income in early November at Fleming College’s Frost Campus in Lindsay.
The Nov. 3 event is a chance to explore how basic income might benefit the town, according to Chair of OBIN’s provisional steering committee, Rob Rainer.
“The public event is an opportunity to explore the various ways basic income could really help the people of Lindsay,” he says.Read more
Enrollment in Ontario’s basic income pilot gets underway in Lindsay next week.
In-person enrollment sessions will begin Oct. 12-13 where people can complete applications to be part of the pilot.
Minister of Community and Social Services, Dr. Helena Jaczek, was in Lindsay this week touring and visited A Place Called Home, a 19-bed hostel for homeless single adults, couples and families with children.Read more
About two thirds of basic income sign-ups so far have come from the so-called ‘working poor,’ a fact Lindsay residents who are struggling should take note of as it begins to unfold in the small Kawartha-area town.
Ontario’s Minister of Community and Social Services, Helena Jaczek, and her counterpart, Peter Milczyn, the minister responsible for the poverty reduction strategy and minister of housing, held a press conference in Hamilton earlier this morning to update the public on the basic income pilot.Read more
The leader of one of Lindsay’s key employment agencies, Carol Timlin of Victoria County Career Services (VCCS), says the basic income pilot is a fantastic opportunity for Lindsay.
Executive Director Carol Timlin says part of their role at VCCS is to show people how to leverage the skills they have, and to steer them toward picking up new skills. She says that should become easier with a basic income as a financial floor to draw upon when necessary.Read more
The leader of Trillium Lakelands District School Board has positioned himself squarely in favour of Lindsay’s basic income pilot, saying there are “so many possibilities” for it to do community good.
Director of Education Larry Hope says his “personal belief is that we have to look at the big picture for our citizens and for society,” he says, referencing the basic income pilot that begins this fall in Lindsay.Read more
As the town of Lindsay prepares for its basic income pilot to begin this fall, its police chief is already on board.
City of Kawartha Lakes Police Chief, John Hagarty, says he’s pleased the town has been chosen as one of three centres in Ontario for the pilot. He’s especially happy that about a full 10 percent of the community could be participants in the program.
Out of the 4,000 participants, who will be invited to participate, 1,000 will be from the Hamilton/Brantford area and another 1,000 will be from Thunder Bay.Read more