Lisa Gretzky MPP, for Windsor West

Government of Ontario

4,000 vulnerable Ontarians see basic income pilot’s final payment today

Published on March 25, 2019

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky, the Official Opposition critic for Community and Social Services, called on the Minster of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod to reconsider the callous cut to 4,000 Ontarians who were part of the basic income pilot. Those individuals have had their lives upended by the Ford government, which cancelled the pilot before it was able to collect enough data to show if it’s an effective way to tackle poverty. 

Despite making an explicit campaign promise to the contrary, the Conservatives immediately axed the four-year basic income pilot when it took power, leaving 4,000 Ontarians to change their life plans. 

“4,000 Ontarians have been betrayed, and are left scrambling. The program they were promised to help pull them out of poverty — for many, that means getting higher education or launching a business — has been ripped away,” Gretzky said.

“The basic income pilot program was a hand up. It allowed people living in poverty to improve their quality of life — to buy necessities like medications or healthy food for their children — and gave Ontarians of varying ages the chance to pursue higher education or finish a degree. The Conservatives cancelled the program without even getting the results of the pilot. 

“Ford toyed with these people’s futures so that he could win an election. It’s what we see again and again with the Doug Ford government, a shoring up of its own power at the expense of Ontario’s most vulnerable. Doug Ford and Lisa MacLeod have shown a hostile disregard for anyone but their own insiders and allies. Ontarians deserve better, and at the very least, they deserve an apology.”

Lisa MacLeod responded with a rant, saying no one in her government will ever apologize.