Former security guard Tim Button considers how a sudden increase in his income from an unusual social experiment has changed his life in this Canadian industrial city along the shore of Lake Ontario.
Sipping coffee in a Tim Horton’s doughnut shop, Button says he has been unable to work because of a fall from a roof, and the financial boost from Ontario Province’s new “basic income” program has enabled him to make plans to visit distant family for Christmas for the first time in years. It has also prompted him to eat healthier, schedule a long-postponed trip to the dentist and mull taking a course to help him get back to work.Read more
Ontario is taking the next step in its efforts to find eligible applicants for its basic income pilot project.
The pilot, which was launched in the spring, initially began soliciting applications by inviting specific people to apply through random mail-outs to residents in Thunder Bay, Lindsay and Hamilton.
The province is now casting the net wider, inviting any eligible people in the pilot communities to apply, and attempting to reach out through a series of open enrolment sessions in Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Brantford and Lindsay.Read more
A basic income guarantee, such as the pilot project currently running in three Ontario communities, is not an infallible teaching of the Catholic Church, but it can’t be dismissed, one of the Vatican’s top economic advisors told an interfaith conference on basic income.
“There’s no Catholic economic policy,” conceded economist Charles Clark in a keynote address to about 40 academics and basic income advocates at the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto Oct. 20.
“We can’t call up the Fed and say ‘We want the Catholic interest rate.’ ”
The mayor of Hamilton, Fred Eisenberger, says his gut tells him basic income is “the wise thing to do” for an employment landscape that is rapidly changing.
Eisenberger told Case for Basic Income that he would like to think that all political parties, both provincial and federal, understand the need to do something different to guard against sweeping economic change.
“It’s about the changing employment environment and any self-respecting government should recognize that,” he says, pointing out he hopes if there is a government change in Ontario that the pilot would be allowed to continue.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
Ursula Samuels wants to know that basic income will help Hamiltonians on social assistance get ahead.
The 60-year-old mother who attended an information session at the Hamilton Central Library said she receives Ontario Works, and between juggling rent, food and other responsibilities, "it's a struggle every month to get by."
"What I want to see is that people would be better off," she added.
Karen Glass, assistant deputy minister at the Poverty Reduction Strategy Office, spoke about the province's three-year basic income pilot and fielded questions from the crowd of more than 75 people Monday night.
She explained that people on social assistance would have to forego their Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program payments to become part of the basic income study, but they would keep their health and dental benefits.Read more
Globe and Mail
In May, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg returned to his alma mater, Harvard University, to deliver a commencement address.
Mr. Zuckerberg spent only one year at the prestigious American university but it was a famous one: It was in his dorm in his freshman year that he created his world-changing social-media network. Humorous at the outset, his address got plenty serious in a hurry.
“It’s time for our generation to define a new social contract,” he told the graduates. “Every generation expands the definition of equality and we must too.” And along those lines, he said the wealth distribution concept known as Universal Basic Income (UBI) needed to be seriously explored.Read more
There was a thick overlay of snow on the ground the day 7-year-old Sebastian Borjas and his family landed in Canada in 2005, tired from their long journey from Honduras. The previous night’s spring snowstorm was perhaps a harbinger of the challenges that were to come.
They came for a better life, the dream of most every immigrant family to Canada. In Honduras they had grown weary of the political instability, kindled by intrusive American foreign policy, with a backdrop of gang violence.Read more
More than half of Canadians approve of Ontario’s basic income pilot project, but a sizeable chunk of those supporters don’t think it goes far enough.
The project will see as many as 4,000 people with low incomes in Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay receive up to $16,989 per year from the province, or $24,027 for a couple, with no strings attached, to see whether an increase in financial security bolsters job prospects and quality of life.
The poll, conducted by Campaign Research, surveyed 1,969 people and found that 53 per cent of respondents across the country supported the plan. Approval was highest among millennials aged 18 to 24 (59 per cent), Atlantic Canadians (63 per cent), and supporters of the federal NDP (63 per cent) and Liberals (62 per cent).Read more
Ontario is releasing a report that summarizes the feedback gathered from thousands of people across the province on how to design and deliver a basic income pilot.
Basic income is a payment to eligible families or individuals that ensures a minimum income level. It is designed to help people meet their basic needs while supporting long-term social and economic prosperity and security for everyone.
More than 35,000 people and organizations shared their ideas on a range of topics including who should be eligible for a basic income, which communities to include, how a basic income should be delivered and how the pilot should be evaluated during the consultations.