Hamiltonians on the basic income project worry they’ll be pushed back into poverty

Emotional stories were shared today at city hall from Hamiltonians who say they will once again face poverty after the provincial government’s move to cancel the basic income pilot project.

Over 1000 Hamiltonians have been receiving the basic income from the provincial government, money they say has changed their lives, given them dignity, and made them hopeful for the future. They are urging city councillors to keep pressure on the Doug Ford government to continue this project.

Councillor Matthew Green says emergency agencies will have to be ramped up once the program is cut. “Costs for shelters, for food banks, pressures on our social assistance that is municipally driven.”

While the Doug Ford government has said the basic income program may discourage participants from finding work, those who spoke today say all they’ve known is hard work or the struggle to find employment because of a disability.