• Save Ontario’s basic income pilot, advocates urge Ottawa

    MacLeod said she killed the project because it isn’t sufficiently aligned with the Ford government’s focus on moving people on welfare into jobs. However, 70 per cent of participants were already working when they enrolled, but earned too little to pay rent and buy food… One of the research goals was to see what happens when low-wage, precarious workers receive a financial top-up. That’s information any government concerned about vulnerable populations should value, Regehr said. “Poverty, insecurity, precarious employment don’t stop at provincial and territorial borders,” she said. “This matters hugely. This isn’t just about Ontario.”

  • Growing disconnect between urban and rural Canada

    Where we live is the key determinant of how we think, work, and live. And, as we continue to urbanize, a chasm is growing between urban and rural experiences and perspectives. The data is pretty overwhelming. On a host of measures — ranging from incomes to employment to education to immigration to health to religion to family size to sex — researchers find significant differences… even after controlling for sociodemographic factors as well as ideology. Put more simply: where we live shapes how we vote more than other factors such as age, income, religion, or values.

  • Ford government’s media tactics draw ire of journalists, opposition parties

    … the obstructive tactics on display from Ford and his cabinet ministers go far beyond the partisan messaging expected in most political environments. Drowning out reporters’ questions with paid applause and producing government propaganda in the guise of an independent news story, they say, represents a misuse of taxpayer dollars and poses a threat to democracy. The government has said it uses funds from the caucus budget to fund social media accounts operating under the name Ontario News Now, which have delivered two videos so far promoting party messages.

  • ‘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.

  • Federal government urged to save Ontario’s basic-income pilot project

    The minister’s office provided a statement on Wednesday to The Globe and Mail that was neutral on the Ford government’s decision. “The design of provincial social programs is up to the provincial governments,” his office said.

  • 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.

  • Tories target the poor with bad welfare changes

    These are ideologically driven, deplorable reductions that will create more suffering for the poor, and surely lead to higher costs in the long run as the price of poverty inevitably falls to health care, shelter and justice systems… The savings from these changes are paltry compared to the billions in ongoing costs associated with poverty, and ultimately borne by taxpayers… None of this makes sense; at least not when judged from a good policy standpoint.