Consider Calling Your Ontario Member of Parliament and Signing the Petition Below
“This project aimed to identify a better social assistance system that was rooted in fairness, adequacy and simplicity.”
From Glen Walker, Chair of the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network
Posted on August 20th, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – As you have likely heard by now, the provincial government has cancelled the Basic Income Pilot Project that was initiated last year. This project aimed to identify a better social assistance system that was rooted in fairness, adequacy and simplicity. I think we would all agree that a change like that is dearly needed.
The reasoning provided by the Minister Lisa MacLeod for this decision was that the program is too expensive, not sustainable and is not achieving the expected outcomes. Seeing as we are only one year into a three year project, all of this information is unfounded at this point in time.
There is little information currently about what this means for the 4000 individuals currently enrolled in the program, as they were promised 3 years of increased income support. There is also little information about how the provincial government plans to reform the social assistance system instead, however a 100-day review of the system is being conducted.
If you agree that this decision should be reversed, we urge you to learn more, sign the petition below and contact members of the provincial government to share your voice. For more information on how to take action, please see the email below and if you have any questions regarding this issue or would like to be added to NPRN’s Basic Income Task Group mailing list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair, Niagara Poverty Reduction Network
The following Call-Out is from the Basic Income Canada Network, a nation-wide public interest group
Please Read and Consider Signing the Petition Below –
As you almost assuredly have heard about now, on July 31st Premier Doug Ford broke his promise and announced the termination of the Ontario basic income pilot project, along with cuts to planned increases in social assistance from 3% to 1.5%. In the immediate wake of this “callous and wasteful” decision there has been a thunderstorm of protest – from citizens and organizations across Canada supportive of basic income and the pilot, from politicians across the party spectrum, and even from many residents of other countries including Germany, the U.S., Russia, and many more.
You can help and time is of the essence! Add your voice to this petition of the Basic Income Canada Network and the Ontario Basic Income Network and keep forwarding it on to everyone you know. We must raise our collective voice as loud as we can and demand that Doug Ford and Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod reverse this disastrous decision – and commit to seeing the pilot through to its intended conclusion and evaluation.
You can read more about the impact we and others are having in the media (see this editorial in The Globe and Mail, this great article by Globe columnist Elizabeth Renzetti, this great article by Hugh Segal, and this piece in the Toronto Star, with interview comments from me).
Most importantly, there has been understandable outrage – and fear – expressed by some of the 4000 people who in good faith have been participating in the pilot project (see a sample of comments from pilot participants).
For many of them, the Ford government’s cruelty ends or risks the changes they had been making and planning in their lives (e.g., to invest in needed health care, to return to school, to start an enterprise). For some of them, there is even the risk that a sense of hopelessness may be so great as to see them decide to end their lives.
This petition is but one tactic in an expanding list of initiatives people are taking to save the Ontario pilot. Calls have been flooding into Premier Ford and Minister MacLeod’s offices and we urge you to call them too (Ford at 416-325-1941 and MacLeod at 416-325-5525).
In the coming week, there will be rallies in Lindsay and Ottawa, and media events at Queen’s Park. An effort to enlist CEOs in Ontario to speak up is underway, and legal action against the government is being explored (because, at the least, there has been a breach of trust between the government and the 4000 pilot participants who signed up for the pilot in good faith).
Please sign the petition. And stay tuned…this fight for social justice has just begun!
Sheila Regehr, Chairperson, Basic Income Canada Network
For more information on this issue, watch this segment from TVO’s public interest program, The Agenda, by clicking on –
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders