Ontario's new government says it will bring in major changes to social assistance, starting with reducing a planned increase in disability support rates and cancelling a basic income pilot program.
We're a little more than a year in now and the Doug Ford Progressive Conservative government has chose to scrap the whole thing.
Ontario is working on a plan to reform Social Assistance so that it helps more people break the cycle of poverty, re-enter the workforce and get back on track.
Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner, meanwhile, said the basic income program had previously been touted by conservative economists, who saw it as a small-government solution to help people out of poverty. Growing up in poverty, she said, she never saw a way out until Ontario introduced the program.
The government announced Tuesday it was "winding down" the project and cutting a planned three per cent increase in social assistance to 1.5 per cent - the first steps in its plan to revamp the social assistance system. "The price of gas going down is not going to make a difference to them", Garvey said.
They are helping to serve as a comparison group, to measure the differential effects for those in the program. Almost a million people use the two systems and someone on Ontario Works is now entitled to a maximum of $721 a month.
The provincial government also collapsed a pilot project under which 4 000 poor people from various settlements in Ontario, including Hamilton, Brantford, thunder Bay and Lindsay, could receive cash payments.
How is a 1.5-per-cent increase to welfare rates kinder to recipients than a three-per-cent hike? The Ottawa Food Bank points out, social assistance rates have not kept pace with inflation and argues that the reduced increase will continue to cause reliance on emergency food banks.
Eligible participants selected for the program were receiving up to $16,989 per year for a single person and up to $24,027 per year for a couple, less 50 per cent of any earned income.
A Canadian province has said it will scrap a basic income pilot project just months after its launch.
Research from other jurisdictions that have experimented with a basic income does not support the government's position, McKenzie said, adding that the three-year window would have provided ample time to draw meaningful conclusions about the pilot's efficacy.
During the election campaign, the PC party had suggested the pilot project would be kept through to its completion. That's information any government concerned about vulnerable populations should value, Regehr said.
An advocate for basic income, Scott Santens, shared his anger on Twitter after the announcement about the program's cancellation.
Many Items to Qualify as Tax-Free over Weekend of August 3-5
Clothing accessories, school art supplies and sport or recreational equipment are all still taxable during the sales tax holiday . Looking to start your back-to-school shopping? Some cities are not participating in the sales tax holiday .