Ending the scourge of poverty

Posted on October 4, 2018 in Social Security Debates

TheStar.com – Opinion/Readers’ Letters
Oct. 4, 2018.   Bill Endress

Re: Ford says he’s ‘getting rid’ of labour reforms, Oct. 3

The lives of 4,000 people were thrown into disarray when Social Services Minister Lisa McLeod cancelled the basic income pilot project. The promise made by the government that it would provide participating low-income individuals up to $17,000 a year and couples up to to $24,00, with no strings attached, was abandoned. It was a shock to participants who had, on the strength of that promise, budgeted the funds for their future.

The basic income pilot gained the attention of the international community and Canada because its aim was to eliminate poverty — the scourge of humanity for centuries. This hope was dashed, not because the project failed but because it was terminated before it finished. McLeod did not have hard facts to justify the cancellation; it was done on ideological grounds.

When a shocked, angry public asked why the government had cancelled the project, it simply dismissed further discussion by saying the project would “take away the incentive to work” and it did not fit with their vision of the future.

I am 92 and easily confused. I hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is not another train, but the light of younger people doing their best to rid us of the horror and cruelty of poverty. I hope with all my heart that they don’t stop trying. If they do, it’s curtains for all of us.

Bill Endress, Toronto


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