Will the Federal government finish up Ontario's Basic Income Pilot?

Letham signs joint letter requesting Feds take over Basic Income Pilot

in Community/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by

City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger along with Chris Friel, Mayor of Brantford, and Keith Hobbs, Mayor of Thunder Bay, issued a joint letter to Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development expressing their concern with the sudden cancellation of the Basic Income Pilot Program and their united request to the Federal Government to assume oversight of the project.

“We’ve come together to share with Minister Duclos that there is broad-based support for the continuation of this important, evidence based program,” said Fred Eisenberger, Mayor of Hamilton.

“We are appealing to the Federal Government to assume oversight of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot project in our communities for years two and three of the planned project.

The Basic Income Pilot we believe will provide valuable data with the potential to inform future public policy and poverty reduction strategies nationally.”

Mayor Letham commented, “There is much to be gained by continuing to run the pilot over the remaining term and gathering the data that the province has already invested in. Aside from making good on the promises made to pilot participants, it offers an opportunity to improve the system. We need to find a better way to assist those who are living on low income and struggling to make ends meet.”

Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot is the first and largest basic income trial in North America. It has gained global attention for its potential to provide the evidence to eliminate income assistance systems that are often inefficient and stigmatizing.

An intent to file a class action lawsuit against the Province for its cancellation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot was  filed by several parties in Lindsay last week. Mike Perry, a lawyer and social worker acting on behalf of the plaintiffs, notes the intent to file is for “anticipatory breach of contract, negligence, and misfeasance in public office” for the Ford government’s abrupt cancellation of the pilot program.

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Roderick Benns is the publisher of The Lindsay Advocate. He is the author of 'Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World,' and is also Vice Chair of the Ontario Basic Income Network. An award-winning author and journalist who grew up in Lindsay, Roderick has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Senators, and Mayors across Canada. He also wrote and published a series of books for youth about Canada's Prime Ministers as teens.

3 Comments

  1. Basic Income has helped me eat better, recover some health, end my 2 or 3 years of diarrhea and 1 year of incontinence, paid off my credit card debt then started to see a chiropractor to try and end my 7 or 8 years of back/rib/shoulder/head pain. I was able to buy my mother and others Christmas gifts last year, took my mother out to dinner and a gift for her birthday something I could never afford on ODSP. I stopped breaking down, stopped thinking of ending my life, took stress off my family. I used to be stressed to the point my body was tensed all the time and this caused so much trouble sleeping adding to my pain and health decline, It took 5 months just to start to loosen up while falling asleep. On ODSP I was suffering with $1128/month and my rent comes out of that. With a basic income I found dignity and the ability to live.

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