Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot ProjectJason Sadler
Ontario’s previous provincial government started a Basic Income pilot project. It was to last three years, and has just been cancelled by our new Progressive Conservative government, on the grounds that it’s “not sustainable”.
We should all be writing our representatives about this. Here’s my letter to Premier Ford and Children, Community and Social Services Minister MacLeod. Feel free to make suggestions, or copy it for your own letters.
Dear Premier Ford and Minister MacLeod,
I’m writing to express my extreme disappointment in your decision to discontinue the basic income pilot. Basic income may be a powerful tool to spend less money to help more people. (It may not be; we don’t know yet.) Similar programmes have been successful elsewhere and I was pleased to learn that the previous Ontario government wanted to study it too.
Cancelling the programme before it is complete is a waste of money and pre-supposes its results. Moreover, the reason given by Minister MacLeod – that it isn’t sustainable – is ridiculous in the face of it. By nature of its pilot status – with defined budget and, more importantly, an end date just two years from now – sustainability is not an issue. In fact, its purpose is specifically to study the sustainability (and effectiveness) of a basic income programme.
Do not make excuses. Your given reason for cancelling the basic income pilot is nonsensical, so we are forced to assume you are cancelling it simply because you don’t like it; that it doesn’t fit with your conservative ideology. Either say so, or wait until the pilot is complete so you have the necessary information to decide whether to implement a basic income programme providence-wide. (Preferably the latter.)