• Ottawa must pick up the ball on basic income project

    The findings of the $150-million project would have provided hard evidence for governments of all stripes to justify either implementing or dismissing the idea… First, the well-being of those who participated in the pilot project is at stake… Second, as the mayors argue, it makes sense to ensure the money invested in the program so far isn’t wasted… Third, the savings potential for governments in Canada, alone, could be in the billions of dollars if the pilot shows that a basic income works

  • Mayors ask Ottawa to take over Ontario’s basic income pilot project

    Four Ontario mayors are urging the federal government to take over the province’s basic income pilot project, saying many participants in their communities were thriving and that the research from it would provide “critical information.” … “This was an opportunity for us to have a fact-based, evidence-based evaluation” of how such an approach can improve lives, and potentially save money down the road on things like health care,

  • How a universal basic income benefits society

    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.

  • Hamilton photographer puts a face to people hurt by cancellation of Ontario’s basic income pilot project

    “The Basic Income pilot allowed me to have the psychological and financial freedom to explore where I could be the most effective in society. I wasn’t using it to survive, I was using it to thrive,” … “It (the pilot) is an investment in people.

  • Hugh Segal – The Case for a Universal Basic Income

    The top-up being tested in Ontario reminds me of what we did for our senior citizens in 1975 [with the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS)], reducing the level of poverty from 35 percent to 3 percent in three years… that is the challenge that we have to face. And the notion that we can’t afford it is like saying we’re not prepared to fight a disease which destroys the fiber of our society.

  • Poverty line a blurry target

    … the federal government’s plan to have 850,000 fewer people living on welfare in 2020 compared to 2015 will probably have them lowering the poverty line by the amount necessary to hit that target… / There is a world of difference between people who are “economically challenged” and those who live in genuine poverty — or run the risk of doing so. Until this distinction is front and centre, the issue of real poverty will not get the full attention it deserves.

  • Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

    The government wants to reduce the rate of poverty in Canada by 20 per cent from 2015 levels by the end of the current decade, which would require almost 850,000 fewer people living in poverty in 2020 compared to five years earlier… the target increases to 50 per cent by 2030 — a decline of 2.1 million people, including just over 534,000 children under age 18… Absent any new spending, the government is likely to promote efforts to better co-ordinate existing and promised federal programs, as well as better tracking of their impact.

  • It’s time for politicians to take food insecurity and poverty seriously

    One of the biggest challenges in effectively tackling poverty is that we have made it the responsibility of charity. Our over reliance on food banks and corporate food charity as our default response has proven ineffective at achieving long-term change. Also consider that 21 per cent of food banks report having had to turn people away because there was no food to give out. We need to focus on food as a human right and building a food system that includes the elimination of poverty and food insecurity.

  • Who really rides the gravy train? Not those who were on basic income

    The same week that the basic income project was scuttled, a new report outlined how wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few Canadians, how those fortunes are amassed over generations, and how the country’s tax system helps protect and enlarge those fortunes… “In general, Canada’s tax system is set up to encourage concentration of wealth at the very top,” the report says. That includes a lack of tax on inheritances, low taxes on capital gains and an acceptance of tax-avoiding loopholes. These too are government handouts; we’re just trained not to think of them that way.

  • ‘I may end up homeless again’: Six Ontarians talk about their life before, after and, once again, without basic income

    Close to 1,000 Hamiltonians are being left in the lurch after the new Progressive Conservative government announced it is scrapping a basic income pilot program less than one year after it launched… The Hamilton Spectator spoke to six people enrolled in the basic income program, which cost $50 million a year, and heard from several others about what the project meant to them… [and] what’s next?