Ontario Moving Forward with Basic Income Pilot Province – Appoints Special Advisor Hugh Segal

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The province has appointed the Honourable Hugh Segal to provide advice on the design and implementation of a Basic Income Pilot in Ontario, as announced in the 2016 Budget.

Basic income, or guaranteed annual income, is a payment to eligible families or individuals that ensures a minimum level of income. Ontario will design and implement a pilot program to test the growing view that a basic income could help deliver income support more efficiently, while improving health, employment and housing outcomes for Ontarians.

As Special Advisor on Basic Income, Mr. Segal will draw on his expertise in Canadian and international models of basic income and consult with thought leaders to help Ontario design a pilot.

Mr. Segal will deliver a discussion paper to the province by the fall to help inform the design and implementation of the pilot, on a pro bono basis. The discussion paper will include advice about potential criteria for selecting target populations and/or locations, delivery models and advice about how the province could evaluate the results of the Basic Income Pilot. Ontario will undertake further engagement with experts, communities and other stakeholders as it moves towards design and implementation.

Supporting Ontarians through a Basic Income Pilot is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • Finland, Netherlands and Kenya are all looking at developing pilot projects that test the idea of a basic or annual guaranteed income.
  • MINCOME in 1975-78 tested the idea of a guaranteed annual income in Dauphin, Manitoba.

Additional Resources

  • Quotes
Dr. Helena Jaczek

“Ontario is taking a leading role in piloting a modern Basic Income, and we are thrilled that the Honourable Hugh Segal will be lending us his considerable expertise in this regard. We want to ensure that we are developing a thoughtful, evidence-based approach to test the idea of a Basic Income, and we look forward to Mr. Segal’s advice as we begin this work.”

Dr. Helena Jaczek

Minister of Community and Social Services

“I am delighted to be working with the government to help lay the groundwork for a Basic Income Pilot in Ontario. The potential for a Basic Income to transform income security in Ontario and across the country is tremendous, and I look forward to contributing to this bold initiative.”

The Honourable Hugh Segal

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