Ontario is launching a basic income pilot project this spring, aimed at providing financial stability for low-income residents in a time of precarious work and a changing economy.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the details of the province’s three-year basic income project during a speech in Hamilton Monday.
“The project will explore the effectiveness of providing a basic income to people who are currently living on low incomes, whether they are working or not,” Wynne said. “People participating in our pilot communities will receive a minimum amount of income each year — a basic income, no matter what.”
The pilot will launch in the Hamilton area — including in Brantford, Ont., and Brant County — and the Thunder Bay, Ont.,-area late this spring, and in Lindsay, Ont., this fall, with a minimum payment of nearly $17,000 for an eligible single person.
Ontario is also in the early stages of developing a First Nations basic income pilot project.
Wynne said the level of support isn’t extravagant, but will make real difference to a person “striving to reach for a better life.”
Technology and automation have changed the nature of work, she said, and some existing jobs have been put at risk