Basic Income: A Letter to Premier Doug Ford

The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
Queens Park, Toronto

RE: ONTARIO BASIC INCOME PILOT PROJECT

AUGUST 6 2018

Dear Premier Ford;

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a non-profit registered charity that has been serving our neighbours in need since 1846. In Ontario, each year over 5,000 of our volunteers visit more than 170,000 people offering assistance such as friendship, food and furniture vouchers.

We have seen how Ontario’s current social assistance programs have failed to adequately address the challenge of lifting people out of poverty. That is why we support the Basic Income Pilot project. A fundamental objective of this program is to provide a level of assistance that provides the means for people to make positive changes in their lives and break the cycle of poverty.

The pilot project includes a rigorous evaluation protocol designed to help policy makers determine whether the program meets its intended objectives in an effective and cost-efficient manner. Indeed, many jurisdictions and academics around the world have noted this trial program and are eagerly awaiting the results.

The government has stated that it wants to terminate this program partway through the trial period because it does not comply with their objectives. We contend that since the program is designed to help people live independently of government assistance and reduce the costly bureaucracy of the present social assistance regime, it is in fact in perfect compliance with the government’s stated goal of “getting people back on track”.

We believe that cancelling this program prematurely before the research data has been collected and analyzed is a waste of taxpayer’s money. The trial should continue to its intended completion in order to reap the benefits of the money already invested. The ultimate results may very well point to a more humane, efficient and cost effective means of delivering social assistance that will benefit all future Ontarians.

On behalf of all Ontarians, we strongly urge you to reconsider your decision to cancel the Basic Income Pilot program.

We look forward to your response to this letter.

Sincerely;

Danny Bourne
Voice of the Poor Advocacy Committee, Ontario Regional Council
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul

Linda Dollard
President, Ontario Regional Council
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul

Msgr. Sam Bianco
Chaplain, Toronto Central Council
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul

Rob Greenaway
President, Toronto Central Council
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul

Cc;   Ms. Andrea Horwath, MPP Leader of the Official Opposition
Mr. John Fraser, MPP Interim Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party
Mr. Mike Schreiner, MPP Leader of the Green Party of Ontario
Hon. Ms. Lisa MacLeod, MPP Minister of Children, Community and Social Services