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).
It might not sound like much, but to Golem, the money was a chance to set up her business. So when Doug Ford cancelled the pilot in July, Golem was furious: the program—only a few months in—had radically improved her life, along with the lives of others in similar financial situations. The last payments were sent out in March.
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