Would Basic Income work in Ontario?


A pilot project in Ontario is getting a lot of interest that will guarantee citizens with a basic minimum income. The idea came out of the Ontario Spring Budget and has not been developed, but a pilot community and other stakeholders are being sought after to test drive the idea according to reports.

In a system with a guaranteed basic income, tax dollars are used to top up the income of every Canadian, with everyone receiving a payment that guarantees that each household has at least a minimum income. The result, in theory, would cut the reliance on existing social services.

The plan would mean a government cheque to all Ontarians regardless of current income or status. The idea has also tweaked the interest of the Federal Liberals. The idea isn’t new, test pilots were tried in Canada in the 1970’s.  During the period of  1974 through 1978 residents in Dauphin Manitoba  found that with a guaranteed income, children stayed in school longer, there were fewer hospital visits, fewer cases of domestic abuse and less need for mental health treatment and 1,000 families were lifted out of poverty.

Ontario will conduct a basic-income pilot to study whether providing people with a guaranteed minimum amount of income would be a more efficient and effective way to deliver social support as announced in the Spring budget. Those earning high incomes would likely pay it back at tax time.




  1. Kristen Lee. I don’t believe they could take your support. That’s not a govt social service. I would continue to pay mine too.

    As for the higher income getting a check yo just have to pay back at tax time. GTFO and keep it. I’m not paying to fund this just to return it later. You don’t have the money to do it then it’s dead in the water. Stop asking tax payers to pay for more. Liberals need to be removed. Now!!!!

    • I think she means single mom’s on things like ontario works. If a mother received say $900 child support, that full amount is deducted from an ontario works cheque. So if a single mother and child on ontario works had $900 child support payments, they wouldn’t receive a cent from Ontario works. Difficult to move on past that and not really helping the child when your own government forces you live off your ex.

    • Elizabeth Fantham hopefully then the change will be in favour of those in need. allow them to receive both the support payment and the basic income payment same as my ex who makes 80k a year and gets 13k a year from me.

  2. its actually a very good idea, of course the final report was never done after the Dauphin experiment but the benefits to the working poor both emotionally and the economic stability it created was phenomenal. There was more parenting, and less hours worked which may have created some jobs. I think it was $10,000.00 a year and $.50 for every dollar earned was deducted from the benefit.
    I think though with the wynne government it would likely cost as much as or double the benefit just to administer and skim it.

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