Lisa Macleod attends Question Period at Queen's Park, in Toronto on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

The cancellation of the Ontario basic income pilot project is expected to make life harder for a local participant in the program, who believed it was providing an opportunity to move past social assistance.

Though a party spokesperson stated during the lead up to the election that the Conservative government, if elected would continue the basic income trial, the officials have apparently changed their minds.

"The Liberals presided over a disjointed, patchwork system, with no interest at all in whether these programs delivered results", she said.


He said 4,000 people were "promised a chance to test this critical social policy".

In the March budget the Liberals announced they would raise income assistance rates by three per cent. MacLeod said that will be reduced to a 1.5 per cent increase.

"Our plan will help get people back to work and keep them working, while supporting people with disabilities to work when they are able and participate in their communities", MacLeod said in a press release.

Program participants who earned less than $34,000 Canadian annually ($26,000 in US currency) received up to $17,000 Canadian annually. One in five people stays on Ontario Works for five or more years, and if they leave nearly half return, 90 per cent of them within a year. "This decision isn't about saving money, this decision is about fixing a broken system", she said.


As part of this reform, MacLeod also announced that the Province will be winding down Ontario's Basic Income research project in order to focus resources on more proven approaches.

"I hadn't thought about it. except to say everything the provincial government does is a matter of discussion for us", he said when asked if he thinks Ottawa should step in to complete the project.

One program recipient, who has lived in poverty for 15 years, told Business Insider that the basic income pilot was "a huge ray of hope", and that the future is now uncertain. These participants had to be making less than $34,000 individually or $48,000 as a couple and were given up to $16,989 a year for individuals or $24,027 a year for couples to supplement their costs of living. A complicated mix of factors is at work, McKenzie said, but simply put, poorer people are more stressed-out than their peers. "It's possible there may even be an increase in demand for social assistance because of it". This pilot project was not technically "universal" basic income because it targeted a low-income demographic, but multiple studies have found that a government-issued basic income has many benefits for both individuals and the economy.


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