The human cost: What the cancellation of the basic-income pilot means for three Thunder Bay residents

Posted
August 3, 2018
Article Source
TVO.org

The provincial government's announcement on Tuesday that it would cancel a basic-income pilot project came as a shock to social-assistance recipients in northwestern Ontario.

The project, which increased entitlements for 4,000 people in Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Lindsay, Brantford, and Brant County, was intended to last three years. The Progressive Conservatives are discontinuing it after only eight months — despite having promised during the recent election campaign to let the pilot run its course.

Individual participants in the project received just under $17,000 per year (less 50 per cent of earned income), while couples received just over $24,000. Participants with disabilities received an additional $6,000.

Many participants made plans and investments based on those figures. Some were working for the first time in years, since the terms of the project weren't as restrictive as those that come with Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program. Others told TVO.orgthat they were finally able to afford healthy food and transportation.

Now those same participants are wondering how they're going to get by without the pilot-project money.

Read more: The human cost: What the cancellation of the basic-income pilot means for three Thunder Bay residents