• Dismantling the Welfare Wall for Persons with Disabilities 

    For most Canadians with disabilities, the promise of the social security system far exceeds its performance, especially for persons with severe impairment. Many cannot qualify for public or private insurance because the eligibility criteria require employment or the programs are delivered as a workplace benefit. Thousands of individuals with serious disabilities end up on social assistance or welfare – the leanest of Canada’s social programs.

  • We can improve mental-health care by fighting poverty

    We know that poverty aggravates our mental health, but we are not investing in anti-poverty strategies. Why is that? … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent promise to provide $70-million to target mental-health care will fund more services and expand the number of professionals, but those dollars will not reach the people who need it most.

  • Ontario’s social experiment: Can basic income buy happiness?

    It is unknown whether basic income will work in the 21st century or on a larger scale. Critics see it as a disincentive to work, not to mention unsustainable, while supporters see it easing the burdens on the health-care system, as well as a necessity in a world without jobs… If deemed successful, basic income could be rolled out more widely and transform how social assistance is provided.

  • Ontario’s ‘basic income’ pilot helps defuse political anger that stems from economic exclusion

    Canada’s existing welfare programs are far too limited. In Ontario, for example, a single adult receives payouts equal to about 45 percent of the poverty line, or approximately $9,000. Existing programs also include dehumanizing micro-eligibility requirements that dilute self-respect, discourage work, and frustrate hardworking caseworkers. They trap people in poverty rather than providing them with a bridge to the economic mainstream.

  • A Stronger Safety Net

    … filing a tax return would automatically trigger a “no-­strings-attached” cash grant for anyone whose income falls below the poverty line. Less of the money earned above the $1,320 would be clawed back, providing a greater incentive for claimants to work, says Segal. The proposed program is far easier to administer, less paternalistic and allows people to spend their money as they choose…

  • Why free money is a hard sell in tough times

    The go-go growth of four decades ago was not an ideal incubator for an idealistic income support program. Critics might have said, back then (if not now): Get a job… Today it’s possible to get a job, but harder to keep a job, because jobs for life turned out to be short-lived… Pick your poison: globalization, automation, artificial intelligence or information technology… Against that backdrop, the guaranteed minimum payout has been rebranded a basic income.

  • Kathleen Wynne’s basic income plan is bread without circuses

    … it is not clear that it will do much more for the poor. The maximum basic income subsidies — $16,989 for singles and $24,027 for couples — represent just 38 per cent of median income in Ontario adjusted for family size… there is a sense of inevitability to all of this — a feeling that the world of work has changed to such an extent that nothing can be done to keep wages at a viable level and that the only way to avoid social chaos is to subsidize them.

  • Ontario launches basic income pilot for 4,000 in Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Lindsay

    … single adults between the ages of 18 and 64 will receive up to $16,989 annually and couples will receive up to $24,027. People with disabilities will receive an additional $6,000. Single people would have to earn less than about $34,000 to qualify and the income cut-off for couples would be about $48,000… Those on social assistance will be able to keep their drug cards and other benefits. But Employment Insurance and Canada Pension Plan payments will be deducted from the basic income dollar for dollar.

  • Three Ontario cities to test basic income in three-year pilot project

    Residents of Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay will be the first Ontarians to receive a guaranteed minimum income as part of a new provincial pilot project… Premier Kathleen Wynne… said the level of support starts at just under $17,000 a year for single people, and while that isn’t extravagant, she says it will make a real difference in people’s lives.

  • Basic income will cut costs

    … we can’t depend on human compassion to motivate us to help the poor, or we would have done it long ago… The Danes researched the cost of poverty in association to mental and physical health care, crime and incarceration, underachievement in education and employment and sheer human misery. It far exceeded the cost of paying people a modest living wage or providing the needed assistance to reach a basic income.