Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Universal basic income, a form of social security that provides unconditional financial support from the government to all residents of a country or region, has recently gained traction as a solution to poverty, homelessness, and low quality of life. (Photo: Russell Shaw Higgs/flickr/cc)

Ontario to Launch North America's First Test of Universal Basic Income

"We want to find out whether a basic income makes a positive difference in people's lives"

The province of Ontario will start its pilot project testing universal basic income in three Canadian cities this summer, premier Kathleen Wynne announced on Monday.

About 4,000 residents of Hamilton, Thunder Bay, and Lindsay will be randomly selected to take part in the three-year program. One group will start receiving funds this summer—as much as $12,570 annually for individuals—while the other will be part of the control group, and not receive any money.

Researchers will track the program's impact on the economy, public health, education, and housing.

"It's not an extravagant sum by any means," Wynne said. "But our goal is clear. We want to find out whether a basic income makes a positive difference in people's lives. Whether this new approach gives them the ability to begin to achieve their potential."

Participants will be screened to ensure that they are between 18 and 64 years old and living on a low income.

"This is a new world with new challenges," Wynne said. "From technology to [President Donald] Trump, it is a time of greater uncertainty and change."

Universal basic income, a form of social security that provides unconditional financial support from the government to all residents of a country or region, has recently gained traction as a solution to poverty, homelessness, and low quality of life. Similar pilot programs are on the way around the world, from Finland to Kenya.

According to the Globe and Mail, a separate basic income plan for First Nations communities will be introduced later this year.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Summit Participants Embrace 'Vaccine Internationalism' to End Pandemic

"Our goal is simple: to end the pandemic as quickly as possible by securing Covid-19 vaccines for all," says the coordinator of Progressive International's four-day virtual summit.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


As Iran Elects New President, Experts Urge Biden to Rejoin Nuclear Deal, Lift Sanctions

"The Biden administration must remain resolute and seek a break from the disastrous conditions that helped contribute to this result."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


UN General Assembly Condemns Myanmar Junta Violence, Urges Arms Embargo

Member nations voted 119-1 in favor of the resolution, which also calls for a return to the country's fragile democracy.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Dems Introduce Abolition Amendment to Scrap Constitution's 'Slavery Clause'

"The loophole in our Constitution's ban on slavery not only allowed slavery to continue, but launched an era of discrimination and mass incarceration that continues to this day," said Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


'Surreal' and 'Distressing': Climate Experts' Predictions Come True With US Heatwave

"The current heatwave and drought leave no doubt, we are living the dangerous effects of the climate crisis."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·