Kawartha Lakes' Finest Magazine

Quarter of basic income recipients spent time volunteering: Survey

in Community/Social Issues by

OBIP Chronicles — A quarter of the people who were collecting basic income chose to volunteer at least some of their time, once they felt more financially stable, according to a survey about the Ontario Basis Income Pilot.

Proponents of a basic income have long maintained that when people have a financial foundation they are more likely to give of their time to others.

More than 1,500 of the 4,000 basic income pilot recipients agreed to help the Basic Income Canada Network and the Ontario Basic Income Network continue working for a basic income. BICN conducted a survey of those people. Well over 400 responses have already come back, representing more than 10 per cent of those receiving basic income in Ontario, allowing us to write this special series. The Lindsay Advocate, working in cooperation with BICN, is pleased to be the media partner highlighting these stories. Names have been changed to protect identities.

Collette, a woman in her 30s with three kids under the age of 18, started to volunteer at the local school and at a nearby long term care home.

Janice is a divorced woman in her 40s who worked part-time, and went back to school while collecting basic income.

“Being a basic income recipient allowed me to better be able to enjoy life, pay my bills, volunteer and be mobile,” she says in the survey.

Mary Anne is a woman in her 50s. She says in the survey that it was “great to not have to worry as much.”

“It gave me more freedom (and) I had transportation funds to volunteer in my community.”

The Ontario Basic Income Pilot was initiated by the Province in 2017 in three areas – Hamilton region, Thunder Bay area, and Lindsay. Four thousand people were involved, with 2,000 of them in Lindsay to see if there would be a community-wide effect, given the smaller population (20,000 people) of the Kawartha Lakes centre. It was set to run for three years. When the PC government was elected in the summer of 2018, it cancelled the program despite a campaign promise to allow it to continue, announcing that payments will only run until March of 2019.

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 on the communications team of the Basic Income Canada 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.


    • Congregations and most of the churches that I have the pleasure of being involved with
      carry a positive volunteer rate, at Christmas there are care packs, white gifts, we offer helping hands for anything like bringing in firewood for older people, we move people into new houses, tutor the young.
      All are welcome to attend any church service

  1. Lindsay is a town with a super max jail in it. Most of the inmates are in for a long time so what you get is a lot of there spouses move to Lindsay so it is easy for them to visit there incarcerated family. Along with that comes a lot of drugs ( yes I said drugs ) which goes hand in hand with criminals. So if you think this basic income pilot project was a good idea here you would be very wrong. Drugs and crime is rampant in town and it is not a good place to raise young kids. Picking a town like this to do a survey on basic income is a mistake because people will tell you what they think will keep them getting that free money. Now I do realize that there are actually real claims being made by a few people but it needs to go away. That is why I took my business out of Lindsay and moved far away.

  2. Dear Anonymous Joe,

    I’m not sure where to start with your comment. The Lindsay jail inmates are all there for less than two years — it is not a maximum facility. An example of a ‘super max’ facility in Ontario would be Millhaven. Drugs — particularly the opioid epidemic — are hitting all small towns very hard. It is not a Lindsay-inclusive problem at all. Lindsay is a wonderful town in which to raise kids — there are great schools, hard working community members, and super business owners. It’s unfortunate you didn’t see the Lindsay that so many of us know when you were living here. The people who answered the survey knew their basic income money was already gone as of March, with the cancellation of the pilot by the PC government.

  3. Perhaps before people claim that UBI is the saving grace that they are making it out to be
    They can realize that there is assistance for, going back to school its called OSAP.
    They can realize that there is assistance for starting a business its called the Business development bank of Canada.
    They can realize that there is assistance for being out of work without EI, its called Ontario Works
    They can realize that there is assistance for being unable to work its called ODSP
    ( ODSP has a Federal Government grant/ bond program for the retirement savings
    of any individual that meets the criteria of the disabled )
    The information/stats about UBI trial in other countries has been available for decades

    • do you even know what these programs pay? with the housing issue, landlords have raised their rents to cash in…on Odsp i was getting $400 month and $670 from CPPD..my rent for a super small apartment is $925 plus electric heat! but i was living in a motel and the Basic Income helped get me out of there! i thought i had a year to get some medical issues taken care of so i might be able to return to work…i will lose my car now too and then kids visits because i can’t afford to feed them and will not have a way to pick them up anyway…i’m sure if u fell upon hard times, you would think differently about pilot programs research and the need for them!

  4. i received the Badic Income for a year…i had lost my job due to injury. WSIB TURNED meDOWN…i was living in motel..gave away my pets..with the extra income i finally got an apartment.Believing i still had a year to get proper medical help thru specialist that take a long time to see..will be homeless again now, lose my car then kids visits..depression is back full force and worry constantly!

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