Ontario gets plenty of feedback on basic income pilot

Minimum income program expected to launch this spring

Ontario gets plenty of feedback on basic income pilot
A cyclist navigates traffic after an overnight snow storm in Toronto, March 14. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

The Ontario government has moved a step further towards implementing a basic income pilot program, after receiving feedback from 35,000 residents and companies.

The province released a report on Thursday, summarizing the feedback received — including who should be eligible, which communities to include, how it should be delivered, and possible evaluation methods.

Basic income is a payment to eligible families or individuals that ensures a minimum income level.

“Every family in Ontario deserves the security and dignity of a life free from poverty,” said Chris Ballard, minister responsible for poverty reduction.

“After hearing from people in person and through over 34,000 responses online, I’m energized to build on their feedback and introduce a basic income pilot that will test how to improve health, employment and housing outcomes for the people of Ontario.”

Feedback received indicates basic income support for residents ages 18 to 64, ensuring their basic needs are met.

The province continues to engage with First Nations, urban Indigenous, Métis and Inuit communities on this issue, according to a news release.

“We are committed to taking a careful and evidence-based approach to the design and implementation of the basic income pilot,” said Community and Social Services Minister Helena Jaczek. 

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