Most readers will be aware that the Ontario Government selected Hamilton (with Brantford and Brant County), Thunder Bay and Lindsay as the three municipalities for the provincial basic income pilot. The announcement was made on April 24th. The pilot will run for three years and involve four thousand people selected in the three locations.
Details on the program can be found at https://news.ontario.ca/mcss/en/2017/04/ontarios-basic-income-pilot.html
Some Random Comments and Questions on OBIP
We have gathered some comments from around the province. Feel free to add yours.
- The project will explore the effectiveness of providing a basic income to people who are currently living on low incomes, whether they are working or not. People participating in our pilot communities will receive a minimum amount of income each year — a basic income, no matter what. – Premier Kathleen Wynne
- This is going to help many people get a hand up and help them to get ahead and also the spinoffs of this project will be great across our area in terms of building the local economy. – Mike Perry Executive Director – City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team told CHEX TV.
- So the first takeaway is that regardless of what happens in the next provincial election, all parties need to pledge allegiance to OBIP’s full three years. History tells us that the rigorous research and evaluation experts promised by the Wynne government had better be the best in their field for this will be key to a robust scientific outcome. The third-party research consortium that will evaluate the study has yet to be announced. – Jennifer Wells, columnist Toronto Star
- We are certain a basic income pilot project will reinforce the need for income adequacy for all people in Ontario- especially for those on provincial social assistance programs who experience the deepest poverty in society – John Mills, a member of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction and a basic-income proponent.
- Can you assure us that in this one, it’s a three-year pilot, that the evaluation will be ongoing and in the event it proves what we all think it will prove, that an announcement will be made prior to the end of the three years of not only the continuation for those people who are part of the pilot, but as well as expansion? Iain Angus – Mayor of Thunder Bay asked premier Wynne as reported by the Thunder Bay Newswatch.
- While news of the pilot project is positive, the Roundtable stresses the need for more information and a comprehensive consent process to ensure participants understand the ramifications of signing up for the pilot. Nobody should be worse off by participating in the pilot. – Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction
- So does that mean people living next door to each other, one person’s still only going to get $700 and their neighbour’s going to get $1400 a month? It seems profoundly unfair. Sally Colquhoun, Coordinator of Legal Services at Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic told the CBC.
- For the people who are languishing on a single income for Ontario Works, can you please make a commitment to still do something more about those folks that this ‘basic income’ maybe won’t work for or they won’t get on? – Deirdre Pike asked the Premier at the announcement.
- This is a parallel track. We have not forgotten that – Premier Wynne in response to Deirdre Pike’s question.