Ontario Basic Income Pilot Class Action: A Call to Thunder Bay Participants

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Timeline of Basic Income
Timeline of Basic Income

Thunder Bay Basic Income Recipients Urged to Join Class Action Against Ontario Government

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Former participants of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, particularly those residing in Thunder Bay and surrounding areas, a class action lawsuit is underway.

This legal action targets the Ontario Government’s abrupt termination of the Basic Income Pilot program in July 2018, a decision that affected approximately 6,000 Ontarians who had embraced the initiative as a hopeful exploration into a new form of social assistance.

The Class Action Lawsuit is being brought forward by Cavalluzzo Lawyers. They state that Cavalluzzo lawyers are distinguished by their commitment to providing excellent legal advice and representation and their dedication to advancing equality and social justice. Since 1983, our firm has been advocating on behalf of working people and equity-seeking groups and individuals in Ontario, across Canada and internationally.

A Brief Recap of the Basic Income Pilot

Launched in 2017, the Basic Income Pilot aimed to evaluate the impacts of providing Ontarians with regular, unconditional payments. It was a bold experiment to explore whether a basic income could enhance living standards and offer a new model for social welfare. Participants, drawn from Lindsay, Hamilton, Thunder Bay, and the surrounding areas, were selected to receive a monthly income while contributing to the study through surveys and personal insights.

However, the initiative was cut short in July 2018, just a year after its inception, with the final disbursements made to participants in March 2019.

The termination of the program is being contested as a breach of contract, leading to the current class action lawsuit.

Class Action Certification and Its Implications

On March 4, 2024, the Ontario Superior Court certified the class action, marking a pivotal moment for former participants seeking redress.

The lawsuit claims $200 million in general damages for the premature cessation of the Pilot, which had promised a glimpse into a potentially transformative welfare mechanism.

Thunder Bay’s Stake in the Class Action

For Thunder Bay residents who were part of the Pilot, this class action represents a crucial opportunity for voice and compensation. The abrupt end of the Basic Income experiment not only disrupted the financial stability of the participants but also deprived the community of valuable insights into social welfare innovation.

How to Join the Class Action

If you were a recipient of the Basic Income in Thunder Bay or other participating regions, your involvement in the class action could be instrumental. A form is available below for those interested in staying informed and possibly benefitting from the lawsuit. For queries, contact details of the legal representatives are provided, ensuring you have the necessary support throughout the process.

Conclusion

The Basic Income Pilot was more than a financial experiment; it was a test of a new social contract. Its cancellation has led to legal and community-led responses that underscore the importance of government accountability and the search for innovative social policies.

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