• ‘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?

  • Doug Ford speaks ‘For the People’ – just not low-income people

    … for this particular brand of Progressive Conservatives, “fairness” or “the people” are terms that exclude the 10 per cent of Ontarians who live below the poverty line… Has Lisa MacLeod defined Ford Nation conservatism as the ultimate in exclusionary “avoid the evidence” public policy? Premier Ford deserves better. And so do Ontarians… The pilot project was testing an approach that treated those below the poverty line with respect, as human beings who can manage their own lives.

  • It’s in everyone’s interests to finish Ontario’s basic income pilot project

    Does it make people better off? Does it encourage people to quit jobs? Or does a certain level of income help people sort out training, or health, or other struggles, and work? Does it reduce other public costs, like health care? … The price tag seems huge… skepticism about basic income is practical, but… there are key empirical questions to be answered – not just whether it affects people’s health, or whether they work, but by how much. The information would have been valuable… even if such a program isn’t viable.

  • Shameful to pick on poor and disabled

    Cancelling the project mid-stream wastes the money spent to date and prevents any evidenced-based data on which to make sound decisions. Ms. MacLeod’s claim the project was not succeeding is disingenuous; how would the government know without completing the project? This decision is short-sighted and lacks compassion for the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities — people who often cannot object and cannot advocate for themselves.

  • MacLeod’s policy changes will keep Ontarians trapped in poverty

    The purpose behind these important rule changes was to stop social assistance from forcing people into complete destitution before they become eligible for help. It is this entrenched destitution model that keeps people on social assistance for years. The rule changes that would help to dismantle that model are now being revoked. As a result, MacLeod can now expect to see a costly set of programs become even more expensive as recipients continue to face the same long road out of destitution.

  • Addressing poverty, not policing, is solution to gun violence

    Providing opportunities, programs and social supports for daycare aged children as young as two, all the way through to assisting youth to pursue post-secondary education, it is resources rather than enforcement that go a long way to address poverty… Decades of research… all highlight the need to support and not punish our communities.

  • New Report Shows Child Poverty in Canada Knows no Boundaries

    … over 1.2 million children, or 17.4%, are living in poverty with their families. That’s the finding from Campaign 2000’s riding by riding analysis of child poverty in Canada, released June 18th, 2018… Significant child poverty exists in every one of Canada’s 338 ridings. It brings to light the disparities that exist in ridings home to both extreme wealth and deep poverty. One such example is the riding of Toronto Centre [where]… Four out of ten (40%) children live in poverty…

  • To be a reformer, Trudeau must focus less on the middle class and more on the poor

    We should demand a pan-Canadian strategy to address the needs of the millions of Canadians living in poverty. And, unlike what happened in 1989, this should include specific benchmarks and timelines for child poverty so that subsequent governments can be held accountable. There should be an annual report to Parliament on its implementation… With the federal government leading the way through targets and provision of the needed key investments, the provinces, First Nations and Indigenous communities should be brought in as participating partners.

  • Why don’t people want free money? The uncertainty around universal basic income

    The original idea, first introduced to the Canadian debate by former Conservative senator Hugh Segal in 2012, was that a guaranteed basic income would be a simpler, more effective and less intrusive way of getting help to both the unemployed and the working poor. But that’s not why so many people elsewhere are watching the Ontario pilot. They are responding to what at first seems an apocalyptic view of the future… [that] 47 per cent of U.S. jobs as liable to be automated in the next 20 years

  • Ontario Making Progress on Child Poverty

    Overall, the 2017 Annual Report underscores how critical it is for governments to develop and implement poverty reduction strategies with clear targets and timelines… The Ontario Child Benefit is an example of a policy that has had a major impact in reducing child poverty in Ontario: a clear reminder that good policies can make a real difference in the lives of people who are experiencing poverty.