By Laurie Monsebraaten for the Toronto Star
If there’s one thing Helena Jaczek hates it’s losers.
As community and social services minister since 2014, Jaczek is determined to create only winners as she carries out her mandate to improve income security for vulnerable Ontarians, including almost 1 million living on social assistance.
“I said as long as I’m here, there are no losers,” she says, explaining the marching orders she has given to ministry bureaucrats.
It is also the challenge she has presented to members of a working group she will announce Wednesday to help her forge an action plan over the next 14 months.Read more
By Aaron Broverman -- Yahoo Finance
When the Ontario Government included a paragraph in the 2016 budget discussing plans for a pilot program testing universal basic income, those on welfare and disability income support probably took notice.
Currently, if you’re collecting monthly Ontario Works payments – the province’s version of welfare – you receive a maximum between $681 per month as a single person and $1,408 as part of a couple with two children. The maximum monthly cheque for those on the Ontario Disability Support Program [ODSP] is a bit higher, between $1,110 for a single person and $2,025 for a couple with two children. Neither payment is anywhere near the average cost of living in Ontario. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which sets the living wage for the province ($18.52 per hour, per person), puts average expenses for a family of four in Toronto at $65,850.55 a year. The ODSP payment at its maximum would pay out $24,300 a year.Read more
By Terrance Hunsley
*Editor's note: This column is the view of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Basic Income Canada Network.
Since the election of the Trudeau government, there has been increased interest in the concept of basic income (also known as guaranteed income, and negative income tax). The confluence of liberal governments in Ottawa and seven provinces, as well as two NDP governments, suggests that a political consensus may be possible to take a historic step forward. A guaranteed income, or negative income tax has been held up as a noble objective to eliminate poverty, an efficient replacement for a labyrinth of means tested and over-bureaucratized programs, and a more effective insurance system for the new economy, for a long time. It could also provide a significant offset to increasing income inequality.