A year after Doug Ford broke his first election promise by axing the province’s basic income pilot project, the future remains uncertain for Ontarians struggling to make ends meet.
The three-year, $150-million experiment was studying whether unconditional cash payments are a better way to support vulnerable workers and improve health and education outcomes for people living in poverty, including those on social assistance.
With a sample size of 4,000 adults in three test sites — Hamilton-Brant, Thunder Bay and Lindsay — and another 2,000 acting as a control group, it was one of the largest and well-designed studies of its kind.Read more
Four researchers from four Ontario universities have teamed up to explore the experiences of participants in the (now cancelled) Ontario Basic Income Pilot (OBIP). The goal of this research is to add the voices of basic income pilot participants and their personal experiences with basic income to the public record, to continue to build the evidence to support a basic income social program.
The researchers are: Lorayne Robertson (Principal Investigator) of Ontario Tech University (firstname.lastname@example.org), Tracy Smith Carrier of the University of Western Ontario (email@example.com), Elaine Power of Queen’s University (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Joli Scheidler Benns of York University who were awarded a SHHRC Insight Grant to conduct the research.Read more
Canada: Report “Signposts to Success” shows how beneficial the cancelled Ontario basic income experiment was
Basic Income Earth Network
The reading of results from basic income type of experiments is, apparently, dependent on who is reading them. The Ontario present government officials did not think, for instance, that there were particular advantages or benefits from pursuing with the Ontario basic income experiment.
The particulars of the Ontario (basic income) pilot cancellation have been extensively reported on (some examples below), so much so that a new report was published with some evidence of the benefits experienced by more than 400 participants, according to their responses.Read more
The wave of basic income experiments in the last two years was a positive development in giving Universal Basic Income (UBI) some level of attention and political legitimacy in Western countries.
It is time to recognize the experimental wave is coming to an end.
Basic income activists in the next wave of UBI political discussions should push for policy changes in the direction of basic income. There are ongoing and completed trials testing cash transfers in countries with different stages of economic development. It makes more sense to build a foundation for policy changes as these results trickle out over the next few years rather than pushing for yet another experiment.Read more
In February 2018, Jessie Golem, a freelance photographer in Hamilton, found out she’d been selected to participate in Ontario’s basic income pilot project. She felt like she won the lottery. The three-year pilot, launched by the Wynne government, was meant to provide 4,000 low-income individuals in Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay with a maximum of $16,989 per year per person (or $24,027 per couple).Read more
Raise the Hammer
I was one of the 4500 citizens in Canada to be given a basic income (BI). I applied for BI while working at a bank in downtown Hamilton. Part-time employment is all that is available as a modern bank teller.
The top priority given to us by our managers was to teach customers how to use our online banking platform and cell-phone application. The better I did my job, the fewer faces I saw coming into the branch. I was in the midst of a job-performance paradox, witnessing and facilitating the replacement of my job by technology. And moving up the ladder didn't make much long-term sense either, seeing as financial planners are now being publicly shafted in Super Bowl advertisements by automated robo-banking platforms like Questrade.Read more
Former premier Kathleen Wynne said she regrets that her government did not bring in the now-scrapped basic income pilot project earlier during their time in power. "I wish that we had done it sooner," the Don Valley West MPP said in response to a question from a basic income pilot participant at the Hamilton Public Library Monday.
The previous leader of Ontario's Liberal party said she was "fighting back tears" as she delivered the keynote address at an appreciation day for basic income participants.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
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
Court has ‘no authority’ to quash PC decision to cancel basic income; ruling has ‘no effect’ on possible class action lawsuit
It was not the kind of Valentine’s Day gift supporters of basic income were looking for.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court says the court has no authority to force the PC government to continue funding the Ontario Basic Income Pilot program.Read more