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Nearly half of basic income recipients were severely food insecure: Survey

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Nearly half of the thousands of Ontarians collecting basic income reported severe food insecurity.

In the baseline survey, 48.4 per cent reported experiencing severe food insecurity. Survey comments made to the Basic Income Canada Network indicated that the higher quality food recipients were able to purchase while on the pilot improved their lives — sometimes dramatically.

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Perry says focus now on class action lawsuit in wake of basic income cancellation

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Mike Perry, left, with two of the four applicants, Tracey Mechefske and Dana Bowman.

In light of an Ontario court decision that states it has no authority to force the PC government to continue with basic income, the focus now turns to the class action lawsuit.

This, according to Mike Perry, the Lindsay-based lawyer and social worker who took on this case pro bono.

“While the applicants are understandably disappointed with today’s decision, they respect the court and the legal process and have asked me to thank the court for its consideration of their application,” Perry tells the Advocate.

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Court has ‘no authority’ to quash PC decision to cancel basic income; ruling has ‘no effect’ on possible class action lawsuit

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Class action lawsuit applicants Tracey Mechefske, Dana Bowman, Lawyer Mike Perry, Lindsay Advocate Publisher Roderick Benns, when the lawsuit was first announced.

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.

In their decision Justices Thorburn, Reid, and Myers write, that “the pilot program is a government funding decision…this court has no power to review the considerations which motivate a cabinet policy decision.”

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Affordable housing options to expand in Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County

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The Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Housing Corporation (KLH Housing Corp) is looking for Council to assist with the debt financing of two new rental apartment buildings; 30 units in Fenelon Falls and 21 units in Minden. Council received a presentation on the proposed projects at the February 12 Committee of the Whole meeting. Council will be making a decision on the support being requested for the projects at the February 19 Regular Council meeting.

“The new rental  housing units will support a variety of different tenants and that is very exciting news for Minden and Fenelon Falls,” says Hope Lee, Housing Manager. “KLH Housing Corp is committed to providing rental housing options across the City and County.”

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The 4 key ways basic income changed people’s work lives for the better

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Back to school and new business start-ups were just two ways basic income was helping.

While the federal government may be considering the merits of a basic income for Canadians, those participating in the Ontario pilot know already how it was changing their lives for the better.

In fact, there were four key ways basic income directly affected people’s work lives, according to survey information – more learning and education; affordability of transportation; starting or maintaining a business; and childcare.

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Basic income judicial review: A view from the gallery

in Community/Health/Local News/Poverty Reduction by

Monday, January 28. Outside it’s bitterly cold, winds swirl, and an Alberta Clipper is expected to bring up to 20 cm of snow. In Osgoode Hall’s courtroom number three all is calm and well-ordered. Tiers of dark wood benches line the room below a vaulted ceiling and an elaborate chandelier.

But there’s an air of expectancy: Basic Income is having its long-awaited day in court, and not just any court, but the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The applicants are Dana Bowman, Grace Marie Doyle Hillion, Susan Lindsay, and Tracey Mechefske. Dana and Grace are in the gallery. They are being represented by Mike Perry, a qualified but not practicing lawyer. He’s dressed in robes borrowed from Lindsay lawyer Jason Ward. Mike is acting pro bono. All the other costs of bringing a case — filing fees, photocopying and printing, administrative support, expert fees and insurance — have been covered through a GoFundMe campaign launched last August. (As the hearing begins the amount raised sits at $9,770; the next day it will reach its $10,000 target, a total of 117 having made contributions).

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Court reserves judgment on basic income case

in Community/Poverty Reduction by
Tracey Mechefske, Dana Bowman, plaintiffs; lawyer and social worker Mike Perry; Advocate publisher Roderick Benns.

An Ontario Court has reserved judgment on the high profile basic income case which was argued by Kawartha Lakes lawyer and social worker Mike Perry in a Toronto court room today.

However, the court also recognized this was a time sensitive matter, given that the program will end as of March, 2019.

Many believe this will be a matter of days, not weeks, before the court rules.

The challenge heard today was the application for the court to overturn the decision to cancel the Ontario Basic Income Pilot. A pending class action lawsuit will only be heard if the court decides not to overturn the Province’s decision and the pilot doesn’t continue.

If needed, the court will later hear a class action lawsuit for damages over breach of contract for the new Ontario government cancelling the basic income pilot project prematurely.

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Over 80 per cent didn’t get needed health care due to cost, until basic income

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Annie is 18-29, a student who works part time and seasonally. She was able to afford health-related items like eyeglasses.

OBIP Chronicles — The Ontario Basic Income Pilot baseline survey shows that nearly 38 per cent of the people collecting basic income needed health care but didn’t get it in the last 12 months. That’s because more than 80 per cent reported cost as the reason.

In the survey conducted by Basic Income Canada Network, there were many stories that reflected this reality.

Annie is 18-29, a single student who works part time and seasonally. With her basic income she was able to afford better food, housing, and transportation, but also necessary health-related items, like eyeglasses. She also chose to get dental work done that had previously been put off.

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Basic income was helping with crushing cost of housing: Survey

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More than 58 per cent of people collecting basic income were trying to change their housing situation, according to a new survey.

OBIP Chronicles — Finding affordable housing in Ontario hasn’t been easy for decades. Finding it in Kawartha Lakes has been even more difficult of late, with the 2018 figures showing a 1.5 per cent vacancy rate, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) 2018 fall report. A healthy vacancy rate is more like three per cent.

For people collecting basic income in Lindsay, Hamilton area, and Thunder Bay area, the pressures they were facing with housing costs were lessened with the new benefit they were receiving, although all of that is ending in March with the cancellation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot.

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The economics of homelessness as basic income pilot winds down

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Seventy-six years ago, an American psychologist named Abraham Maslow emphasized the process of growing and developing as a person in order to achieve one’s potential.

He called this process a ‘hierarchy of needs’ and, in a testament to common sense, said nothing was more important than basic physical requirements like food, water, sleep, and warmth, as well as safety and security.

Typically, most of us find these things in the security of our income and in the security of own home. When we can’t manage to secure these most basic of needs, though, we’re certainly not going to be able to grow any further as individuals, let alone make a contribution to society. In fact, we will become part of the pressure on our society’s health care system, on our social services, and on our policing and judicial systems.

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