Ontario's new government says it will bring in major changes to social assistance, starting with reducing a planned increase in disability support rates and cancelling a basic income pilot program.
The province's newly installed Conservative government announced this week that it will be cutting the trial short, breaking an election promise to keep it around.
Asked how the government determined the pilot was ineffective before it was over, MacLeod simply said the program was "not doing what it's meant to do and it's quite expensive". Lisa MacLeod did not offer an alternative for moving forward, apart from a vague mention of a "better plan in 100 days".
"Social assistance will always be about compassion for people in need, but it must also be about lifting people up and helping them get their lives back on track through more jobs, more opportunities and more hope".
4,000 people in Ontario just lost what they thought was a guaranteed source of income for the next two years. "My commitment to the people of Ontario, particularly the people who are most vulnerable, is that we will get it right". "This decision is about fixing a broken system, and making sure we have the capacity to help people get back on their feet", MacLeod said.
Ontario's pilot project was launched in April 2017 and offered 4,000 low-income residents in three communities nearly $14,000 a year to individuals or $24,000 to couples, and an extra $6,000 for the disabled.
"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. "It's possible there may even be an increase in demand for social assistance because of it". Suggesting the program discouraged participants from finding work.
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Under the project, randomly selected participants living in three communities in Ontario were being given at least C$16,989 ($12,600, £9,850) a year to live on, minus 50% of any earned income.
Research from other jurisdictions that have experimented with a basic income does not support the government's position, McKenzie said, adding that the three-year window would have provided ample time to draw meaningful conclusions about the pilot's efficacy.
McKenzie was a special adviser during the development and implementation of the basic income project initiated by the previous Liberal government.
"Look, what I'm announcing today is about restoring dignity to Ontarians".
Ms. Power was troubled because Mr. Ford promised during the campaign not to cancel the pilot project.
Winding down: The government has not yet indicated how or exactly when the test will be halted, but, in a statement that doesn't inspire much confidence, it said it intends to do so "ethically".