One of the pillars of the federal government’s coronavirus response — the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, or CERB — is leading to calls for a permanent basic income support program in Canada.
Jessie Golem, a Hamilton, Ont., resident, is among those championing such an initiative. Golem was part of a pilot project in Ontario three years ago that provided income support to 4,000 low-income earners in several communities across the province. The pilot was only in place for a little over a year before it was abruptly cancelled by the government of Premier Doug Ford.Read more
What a difference a year makes.
Last March, Ontario’s basic income pilot project was cancelled, leaving about 4,000 Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay residents scrambling to recoup a monthly financial stipend they said had transformed their lives.
Under the program, individuals would receive about $13,000 per year, while couples got about $19,000 regardless of employment status. Individuals receiving the financial help said knowing they would have a sustainable and secure source of money immediately bolstered their health, improved their self-esteem and allowed them to look for a job or establish a path to carve out a career.Read more
Ontario's basic income pilot project was making a different in the lives of participants, and its cancellation was "devastating," a Lakehead University researcher said.
Ravi Gokani, associate professor at Lakehead's School of Social Work, has been speaking to people who participated in the pilot, people who didn't, and community organizations about the impact the pilot had on the community.Read more
Liberal leadership hopeful Michael Coteau is pledging to reinstate Ontario’s basic income pilot project, which the Ford government cancelled after promising to keep it during the 2018 election campaign.
Coteau, the MPP for Don Valley East, was involved in the pilot project as a cabinet minister in the Wynne government, and said the three-year study put Ontario “ahead of the game” on strategies to offset the effects of poverty.Read more
Thunder Bay Newswatch
Thunder Bay-Superior North candidates tackled a number of hot-button issues on Wednesday night as they met the electorate at a debate hosted by the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce.
Topics ranged from climate change to homelessness to Indigenous issues in the lone local forum to date to include all six candidates in the race.
The election hopefuls, Liberal incumbent Patty Hajdu, Conservative Frank Pullia, the NDP’s Anna Betty Achneepineskum, Bruce Hyer of the Green Party, Youssef Khanjari of the People’s Party of Canada and Liberatarian Alex Vodden, didn’t agree on much, but they did all agree that a basic income guarantee of some sort was something to work toward.Read more
The Lindsay Advocate
As a federal election draws nearer the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) is urging all federal candidates to consider a basic income as a game-changing solution to income insecurity.
The letter to all federal candidates begins by tackling the issue of financial insecurity head-on.
“As the 2019 federal election approaches, many issues will be debated. A great many of them are linked to income insecurity, which manifests itself in the form of costly symptoms, like anxiety, illness and societal unrest. If the underlying problem is about income, however, then the solution must be, too – or it will not get better.”Read more
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 ([email protected]), Tracy Smith Carrier of the University of Western Ontario ([email protected]), Elaine Power of Queen’s University ([email protected]) 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