Universal Basic Income

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the financial hardships of residents across Ontario and especially in Toronto-St.Paul’s.

In Toronto-St.Paul’s, more than 12,500 people needed the help of a food bank in 2018, including nearly 3,000 children. In Toronto-St. Paul’s, nearly 2,500 children are living below the poverty line and the riding unemployment rate is 6.3 percent, which is higher than Toronto as a whole.

To The Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

Whereas more than 67 per cent of Toronto-St. Paul’s residents are renters — many of whom are seniors on fixed income, single parent families, and people depending on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) — who are facing eviction on August 1, putting more of a demand on our already at-capacity shelter system; and

Whereas the costs of poverty are borne by us all — Feed Ontario’s 2019 Cost of Poverty Report, found that each household in Ontario is losing over $2,300 each year because of the economic costs of poverty; and

Whereas the previous Liberal Provincial Government failed to implement the substantial minimum wage and ODSP increases that Ontarians required, instead it decided to cut funding for social housing and privatized Ontario Hydro — the Ford government in 2018 cancelled the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project before collecting any substantial data; and

Whereas the provincial NDP committed in 2018 to making a universal basic income a reality within a decade, and has during the pandemic proposed a plan to ensure every household receives $2,000 a month and an annual increase with inflation; and

Whereas Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh continues to champion basic income for all Canadians, and in April, called for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to be turned into a universal benefit.

WE the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

The Ontario government immediately establish a pandemic-related emergency basic income plan to ensure every household receives $2,000 a month and an annual increase with inflation. That the pandemic-related emergency basic income project be considered Phase 2 of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project with concrete plans to study the results with a view to establishing a permanent universal basic income program after the pandemic.

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