Province Studying How Basic Income Could Help Support Those in Need

Oct. 5, 2017

Enrollment in Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot will soon be underway in Lindsay. Starting next week, in-person enrollment sessions will begin in Lindsay where people can complete applications to be part of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot.

Minister of Community and Social Services, Dr. Helena Jaczek, was in Lindsay today touring a local community shelter, A Place Called Home, where she was speaking with staff and individuals there, about how they could benefit from the pilot. A Place Called Home is one of the community organizations that is supporting the Ontario Basic Income Pilot.

The study, first announced in April 2017, is looking at whether a basic income can better support vulnerable workers, improve health and education outcomes for people living on low incomes, and help ensure that everyone shares in Ontario's economic growth.

Progress so far includes:

  • This month 400 people will receive a basic income payment, with more applications currently being processed. Enrollment in Lindsay will begin next week.
  • Establishing a Minister’s Advisory Council, led by Susan McIsaac, former President & CEO of United Way Toronto and York Region, which will provide advice and recommendations to the government to achieve successful delivery of the pilot.
  • Striking a Research and Evaluation Advisory Committee, led by Dr. Kwame McKenzie, CEO of the Wellesley Institute and Special Advisor to the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, which will provide advice and recommendations on the evaluation of the pilot.
  • Selecting a team of leading researchers, experts and academics led by St. Michael’s Hospital and McMaster University to evaluate the pilot.

As part of the next phase of the pilot, engagement will continue with First Nations and Provincial and Territorial Organizations on a First Nations Basic Income Pilot.

Ensuring everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


“We are rolling out the pilot in a phased approach and, as we begin enrollment in Lindsay, we are one step closer to learning whether a basic income will be a better way to support those who need it most, allowing them to make decisions about their future, improving their physical and mental health, and making them better able to participate in their community.”
–– Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services

“The Ontario Basic Income Pilot is well underway. This month 400 people will receive a basic income payment and more applications are currently being processed. There is still more to come with enrollment beginning in Lindsay and we’ve got the right people in place to help us make sure that the Ontario Basic Income Pilot is fair, effective and scientifically valid.”
–– Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

“As the director of an agency who has supported the most vulnerable people in our community and generally the most poverty stricken -- for over 20 years, the Basic Income Pilot can only mean good news for the ‘Town of Lindsay’ and its citizens. A basic income will improve the quality of life for many individuals.”
–– Lorrie Polito, Executive Director, A Place Called Home

Quick Facts

  • The first in-person enrollment session in Lindsay will be held October 12th and 13th with more to come in the coming weeks.
  • Currently 400 people from Hamilton, Brantford, Brant County and Thunder Bay and the surrounding area are enrolled in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot.
  • People in the pilot could receive up to $16,989 per year for a single person and up to $24,027 per year for a couple, less 50 per cent of any earned income. People with a disability would receive up to an additional $500 per month.
  • The rules to qualify are simple and straightforward. Anyone who receives a package in the mail (or another person living in their household) can apply if they are 18 to 64 years old, living in Lindsay for the past 12 months or longer (and still live there), living on a low income (under $34,000 per year if you're single or under $48,000 per year if you’re a couple).
  • Ontario is taking a leadership role and contributing to the international body of research in exploring how a basic income can reduce poverty and support more people living on low incomes.
  • The three-year pilot is taking place in three sites: Lindsay; Hamilton, Brantford and Brant County; Thunder Bay (including Oliver Paipoonge, Shuniah, Neebing, Conmee, O’Connor and Gillies).
  • Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot will be the largest study of its kind in North America with 4,000 participants at full enrollment.
  • The first basic income payments were made on July 25, 2017. Ontario Basic Income Pilot payments are made on or around the 25th of each month.

Learn More

Find out more about the Ontario Basic Income Pilot

Media Contacts

Lyndsay Miller, Minister’s Office, 416-325-5450
Myriam Denis, Minister’s Office, Ministry of Housing, 416-585-6333
Kristen Tedesco, Communications, 416-325-5178