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Canada: The Ontario Basic Income (cancelled) experiment, revealed

The findings of the McMaster University Basic Income Project (MUBIP) were released on the 4th of March 2020. The study looked into the impact of the Ontario Basic Income on over 200 recipients in one of the pilot sites, namely Hamilton-Brantford, where 1000 recipients were initially enrolled into the program. Even though the previously hired research team’s contract to evaluate the program was cancelled (by the present government), a new analysis was made possible through funding from the Hamilton Community Foundation, McMaster University and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
The findings were publicized at a lauch event on the referred day, organized by the McMaster Institute for Health Equity taking place at the L.R. Wilson Concert Hall, and having Hugh Segal as a guest. From the new study conclusions, it can be read:
  • Everyone who received basic income reported benefitting in some way.
  • Many recipients reported improvements in their physical and mental health, labour market participation, food security, housing stability, financial status and social relationships.
  • Basic income also had a noticeable impact on the use of health services, with many of the survey respondents indicating less frequent visits to health practitioners and hospital emergency rooms.
  • For a significant number of participants, basic income purportedly proved to be transformational, fundamentally reshaping their living standards as well as their sense of self-worth and hope for a better future.
  • The majority of those employed before the pilot reported working while they were receiving basic income. Many reported moving to higher paying and more secure jobs.
  • Those working before the pilot reported even greater improvements on some measures of well-being than those who were not working before.

More information at:

Laurie Monsebraaten, “Did basic income drive people to quit work? Not according to a Mac study of recipients“, The Hamilton Spectator, March 4th 2020

About Andre Coelho

André Coelho has written 363 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.

One comment

  • Thanks, good to read a report on this project. Now seems to be the hour to prepare the confrontation with the financial system. Hopefully they will take a positiive view, bearing in mind the existing debt crisiis and threat of recession/slump.
    It was also gret to hear Clive Standing read his essay on BBC this morning..

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