Thunder Bay and Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot Project

Thunder Bay City Hall and the plaza are in great shape in downtown Fort William
Thunder Bay City Hall

Homeless in Thunder Bay - image taken October 26 2015 - Ontario promises to end homelessness in ten years.
Homeless in Thunder Bay – image taken October 26 2015 – Ontario promises to end homelessness in ten years.

THUNDER BAY – Ontario is looking at running a pilot project as a part of restructuring social assistance. The Liberal Government under Premier Wynne has brought forward several initiatives in the 2016 Budget, including free university or college tuition for families earning under $50,000 annually.

“One area of research that will inform the path to comprehensive reform will be the evaluation of a Basic Income pilot. The pilot project will test a growing view at home and abroad that a basic income could build on the success of minimum wage policies and increases in child benefits by providing more consistent and predictable support in the context of today’s dynamic labour market. The pilot would also test whether a basic income would provide a more efficient way of delivering income support, strengthen the attachment to the labour force, and achieve savings in other areas, such as health care and housing supports. The government will work with communities, researchers and other stakeholders in 2016 to determine how best to design and implement a Basic Income pilot.”

While it isn’t an Event Centre, for Thunder Bay City Council and our two cabinet ministers from Thunder Bay this project seems tailor made for our city. Thunder Bay is isolated enough to be a great “test market” for the project.

This project in our city would help with several projects that the City of Thunder Bay have said are important for our community – housing problems, issues with poverty, and issues with addiction and abuse.

While there is an online petition calling for the Premier to select Thunder Bay for this project, a more effective means – which might take a few moments of your time is to contact our elected provincial MPPs directly and tell them what you think about this idea.

You can reach Minister Bill Mauro at:

Email: bmauro.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
Fax: 807-623-4983
Tollfree Phone: 807-623-9237

You can reach Minister Michael Gravelle at:

Email: mgravelle.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org 
Phone: 807-345-3647
Fax: 807-345-2922

It would also likely be a good idea to share your thoughts with Thunder Bay City Council:

Mayor Keith Hobbs:

Bus:     (807) 625-3600
Fax:     (807) 623-1164
Email:  khobbs@thunderbay.ca

James Murray