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World Economic Forum blog: “Canada’s basic income experiment – will it work?”

In January, Apolitical published an exclusive interview with two leaders behind the planning of a pilot study of a basic income guarantee program in Ontario, Canada: Helena Jaczek, Ontario’s Minister of Community and Social Services, and project advisor Hugh Segal.

Earlier this month, the interview was republished in the official blog of the World Economic Forum, the Switzerland-based organization responsible for the prestigious annual Davos meeting (which this year held a panel discussion and debate on “basic income: dream or delusion”).

In the interview, Jaczek and Segal explain the reasons for their interest in and optimism about basic income. Jaczek sees the program as a means to provide economic security to allow individuals to contribute to society. Segal supports basic income as a way to avoid the “poverty trap” that occurs when poor individuals lose benefits after taking a job, as well as a way to empower the poor to make decisions on their own behalf.


The Government of Ontario has recently completed public consultation hearings on an initial proposal for the pilot study, and will release its final plan in Spring 2017. As proposed, the pilot will consist of both a randomized control study in a large metropolitan area (in which randomly selected individuals receive the basic income guarantee) and several saturation studies (in which all members of a small city receive the basic income guarantee). If Segal’s initial recommendations are followed, subjects will be eligible to receive an unconditional cash transfer of up to 1,320 CAD (about 1,000 USD) per month, gradually tapered off with additional earnings, which would replace existing unemployment programs in the province.


Read more:

Exclusive: Inside Canada’s new basic income project,” Apolitical, January 4, 2017.

Canada’s basic income experiment – will it work?” World Economic Forum blog, February 2, 2017.

Reviewed by Danny Pearlberg

Photo (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) CC BY 2.0 Brian Burke

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 505 articles.

Former lead writer and editor of Basic Income News.

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The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

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