Ontario on right track with basic income pilot, says Ontario Basic Income Network


Toronto, Canada – April 24, 2017

The Ontario government is moving in the right direction with regard to the forthcoming basic income pilot project, says a group of basic income advocates. The Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN) commented following Monday’s media event in Hamilton at which Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the province’s plans for the pilot.

“We are pleased that the government will test how basic income can improve the lives of Ontarians,” says Rob Rainer, Chair of OBIN’s provisional steering committee. “Working-age adults in low income, including the working poor, who participate in the pilot are going to see a significant increase in income.”

According to the government, the pilot “will begin in late spring 2017, will study whether a basic income can better support vulnerable workers and give people the security and opportunity they need to achieve their potential. It will also study whether giving people a basic income can be a simpler and more economically effective way to provide income security support to people living on low incomes.”

“In Hamilton, where I live, much has been done to combat poverty,” says OBIN committee member Elizabeth McGuire. “But we still have lots of people in dire need and there are over 900,000 people in Ontario who are on social assistance, a system which provides a penury existence. With the pilot we will see how this approach to economic security is far better than the status quo.”

The government has selected the Hamilton-Brantford region, Lindsay, and Thunder Bay as locations where the pilot will run. As well, a pilot involving First Nations is being co-created and designed with First Nations partners.

“We have huge demand for food support throughout northwestern Ontario,” says Volker Kromm, another OBIN committee member and executive director of the Regional Food Distribution Association. “A decent basic income will dramatically improve food security and health for so many. We have been waiting patiently for this and we are ready to roll up our sleeves to help make the pilot successful.”

About the Ontario Basic Income Network:

The Ontario Basic Income Network has been evolving since 2013 and was formally founded in November 2016 at a meeting in Peterborough of basic income advocates from around Ontario. The Network is guided by a provisional steering committee of 11 members who range from Kenora to Sudbury to Ottawa to the Niagara Peninsula. The Network is part of the growing Canadian movement for basic income, led nationally by the Basic Income Canada Network and with local and provincial action groups across Canada.
For interviews:

Rob Rainer

Chair, Provisional Steering Committee, Ontario Basic Income Network

Perth, ON

613-314-7755 (cell); rob@robrainer.com


Elizabeth McGuire

Member, Provisional Steering Committee, Ontario Basic Income Network

Hamilton, ON




Volker Kromm

Member, Provisional Steering Committee, Ontario Basic Income Network

Thunder Bay, ON

807-627-7440 (office)

807-627-6511 (cell)