Saturday, 19 October, 2019

Ford government scrapping Ontario basic income pilot project

Dfvgcevw4aankba Ford government scrapping Ontario basic income pilot project
Patty Aguilar | 02 August, 2018, 12:49

The Liberals, she said, spent money the province didn't have on "handouts that actually do little if anything to break the cycle of poverty". "It's just support to get me through schooling, to get me a job and the right education", she said.

In the interim, the government will provide increase support rates for people on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program by 1.5%, which is significantly lower than what was previously promised by the Liberals.

"The pilot project started in April 2017. Now I'm left clueless and don't know what to expect".

Since she started participating in the program past year, Mendowegan has received her Grade 12 diploma, is in the process of completing a 16-week remote cooking course and is enrolled to start the office administrator program at Confederation College.

"It was certainly not going to be sustainable".

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Participants in the program received an email Wednesday saying their payments would continue through August but got no further details about how the project would be phased out, said Tom Cooper, director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

About 4,000 people were involved in this program from a range of cities, people living on less than $34,000.

MacLeod called the programs, overseen by the previous Liberal government, a "mess" and "patchwork". "Spending more money on a broken program wasn't going to help anyone", Lisa MacLeod, the Ontario minister responsible for social services, told reporters Tuesday.

Sheila Regehr, chair of the Basic Income Canada Network, said demographic groups such as seniors and parents with young children receive support that follows the basic income model, with better outcomes than social assistance.

But the Ontario government argues the changes are necessary because one in five people stay on Ontario Works for more than five years, and the number of single people on Ontario Works has grown by 57 per cent over the past 15 years.

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