PC’s plan to scrap Ontario basic income pilot project called ‘shameful’ by NDP leader

The Ontario basic income pilot project is coming to an finish, says Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod.

MacLeod mentioned Tuesday that the project was costly, and “clearly not the answer for Ontario families.”

She mentioned the ministry would have “more details at a later date” about how the federal government would finish the project.

Close to 4,000 individuals had been enrolled within the basic income pilot program in Thunder Bay, Lindsay, Hamilton, Brantford and Brant County.

The pilot project began in April 2017. It was initially set to final three years, and discover the effectiveness of offering a basic income to these residing on low incomes — whether or not they had been working or not.

Under the project, a single individual might have obtained up to about $17,000 a yr, minus half of any income she or he earned. A pair might have obtained up to $24,000 per yr. People with disabilities might have obtained a further $6,000.

And this callous, mean-spirited premier sees this as a precedence? Making poverty worse? Making life worse for households? Absolutely disgraceful. Shameful.

– Andrea Horwath, Ontario NDP leader

During the announcement, MacLeod was requested what knowledge the province was citing when it mentioned this system wasn’t working. MacLeod did not supply any examples, and as an alternative simply mentioned it was “not sustainable.”

She mentioned her authorities will finish this system “ethically” for anybody who’s at the moment enrolled. She didn’t say how lengthy members might anticipate their funds to proceed.

The announcement prompted shock and anger amongst many who depend on the the project and felt they’d been lied to.

Dave Cherkewski is certainly one of about 1,000 Hamiltonians who obtained assured income.

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“I’m in shock,” he mentioned, reacting to news of the cancellation. “I had a three-year plan and now it’s gone.”

Provincial NDP Leader Andrea Horwath advised CBC News that the federal government’s choice is “highly irresponsible.”

She mentioned too many individuals in Ontario are already struggling to discover reasonably priced housing and feed their households. 

“And this callous, mean-spirited premier sees this as a priority? Making poverty worse? Making life worse for families? Absolutely disgraceful. Shameful,” she mentioned. 

“It is a waste. It’s a crying shame, and I’m just so distraught — and I know the people who are going to be affected by this are beside themselves.”

Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner, who’s the Green Party leader, equally slammed the cuts in an announcement.

“Ontario’s social assistance programs are not working,” he mentioned. “The most efficient and effective way to reduce poverty and government bureaucracy is to experiment with new solutions such as the basic Income guarantee pilot program.”

Prior to the election, the PCs had indicated they’d see this system by way of to its conclusion.

“We look forward to seeing the results,” spokesperson Melissa Lantsman mentioned in an e mail to CBC News again in May.

Disability assist to rise 1.5%, as an alternative of three%

MacLeod additionally introduced Tuesday that the province’s PC authorities will enhance charges for individuals on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program by 1.5 per cent — not the three per cent enhance that was promised within the earlier Liberal authorities’s newest funds.

“We need to do more than just help people remain mired in poverty,” MacLeod mentioned whereas making the announcement at Queen’s Park.

“We’re going to hit the pause button on the previous government’s patchwork system and replace it with a system that helps stabilize people in need and support them to succeed.”

MacLeod mentioned the province has set a 100-day deadline to develop and announce a “sustainable” social help program.

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