How a universal basic income benefits society

TheStar.com – Opinion/Readers’ Letters – Photos put a face to people hurt by loss of basic income, Aug. 27
Aug. 31, 2018.   ANDRE CANIVET

Cancelling the Basic Income Pilot Project is an outrageous mistake. I was in university when I got too sick to study or work. The Ontario Disability Support Program helped me survive — but only just.

Receiving a basic income turned my life around. I’ve left unhealthy housing, re-entered the workforce and started repaying debts and retraining. Basic income works.

It’s also essential in our automated, outsourced world of scarce employment. One universal basic income program would end poverty, reduce health-care spending and replace broken Ontario Works, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and ODSP systems. It would save taxpayers billions. Conservatives like my local MPP Laurie Scott supported it before the provincial election.

So, I’m appalled Mr. Ford broke his promise. It’s fiscally irresponsible, given the potential benefits of a universal basic income. It was also cruel, hobbling people in need (including Conservative voters) just as they were getting back on their feet.

We’re not criminals — we want to make our way and contribute like everybody else. The program was helping us do that.

The premier should reinstate it now. Everyone’s watching.

Andre Canivet, Lindsay, Ont.

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