News; News & Events

ONTARIO, CANADA: Applications for basic income pilot project reach residents at Thunder Bay and Hamilton

Picture credit to: CBC Halmilton.


The basic income pilot project is being rolled out in Ontario, Canada. The localities selected for this trial are Thunder Bay and Hamilton, at present, with Lindsay getting started later this fall. Randomly selected individuals, with ages between 18 and 64 years old, are receiving information packages about the basic income project, so they can choose to participate or not.


A basic income trial has been on the forge for some time in Ontario, having been reported in several occasions and with the support of the Thunder Bay, Hamilton and Lindsay mayors. With an overall cost of CAN$ 50 million per year and a running period of three years, the test program is designed to cover 4000 households. The trial’s random selection of participants is not limited to the urban parts of these localities, but also some of their rural territory.


The program is specifically aimed at people with low incomes and has a few conditions for eligibility (Thunder Bay case), such as having lived in the region for more than 12 months and some income-related thresholds, as shown in the following table:


Individual status Earning less than, CAN $
Single 33978
Couple 48054
Single, with disability 45978
Couple, one with disability 60054
Couple, both with disability 72054


Being a voluntary-based basic income program trial (unlike the Finish one), people receiving the enrollment packages get up to a month to decide whether they wish to participate or not. However, participation will entail further involvement in research and survey, as part of the trial.


There has already been an information roundtable about the basic income pilot project in Hamilton, on the 2nd of June. The pilot project has randomly assigned 1000 selections in Hamilton, which amounts for around 2% of all people in that locality who rely on provincial social assistance programs. Tom Cooper, that information session executive director, has stated that he is “pretty confident that the results will show that people are significantly better off as a result of getting a little better income and having income redistributed.”


More information at:

Benjamin Lascia, “ONTARIO, CANADA: Mayors react to guaranteed minimum income pilot announcement”, Basic Income News, May 25th 2017

Kate McFarland, “ONTARIO, CANADA: Government Announces Details of Minimum Income Pilot”, Basic Income News, April 25th 2017

Kate McFarland, “ONTARIO, CANADA: Government releases summary of consultations on minimum income pilot”, Basic Income News, March 22nd 2017

CBC News, “Basic income project applications being mailed out in Ontario”, CBC News, 20th June 2017

CBC News, “Got questions about the basic income pilot project? Come to the library on Monday”, CBC News, 28th May 2017

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 310 articles.

Activist. Engineer. Musician. For the more beautiful world our hearts know it's possible.

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.


  • Dianand seepersad

    When will all of ontario start receiving obia I live in the brampton area and in need of obia my income is 6000 a year as we speak I have no money after paying bills yet this government refuse to help me thank you danny

  • Dan Harker

    I wish to apply for the Basic Income Support as I am on Ontario Works and doesn’t cover all my costs. I pay $400 a month in rent and have other expenses to pay such as hydro, food and phone and the money I get from OW doesn’t barely cover all of it.

    Dan Harker

    • Andre Coelho

      Dear Dan,

      Ontario is running an experiment, so you cannot just apply to it (you may selected for it, I suppose). In any case, if basic income support ever comes into being in Ontario, you’ll certainly benefit from it (I hope it will and hope you do).


  • I am wondering,will the program of Basic Income,still be going through as it was started,considering Kathelean Whynn was promoting it,and she is not in control anymore. I live in Mid western Ontario..and I am clinging to the hope that the program will come to my area,in the future.

  • danny

    Only some places are getting money to live while people in the rest of Ontario get barely nothing.people on odsp should get the same amount on their bequest before reductions.

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