Ontario announces universal basic income trial
Ontario announces universal basic income trial

The Canadian Province of Ontario [official website] announced Monday that it will begin a trial program for universal basic income [press release] this summer. The Ontario government said [Guardian report] that it will test the policy on roughly 4,000 participants. Participants for the three-year program will be selected from a randomly selected mailing invite for individuals between the ages of 18 and 64. The program will be aimed at individuals on social assistance, in low paying jobs, or in positions of danger. The pilot is meant to help determine whether universal income is feasible. Opponents of the program are skeptical of its impact and concerned with the feasibility of financially supporting the project after previous failed attempts. Participants will receive an unconditional monthly income that does not effect their various benefits. The program will monitor the impact the income has on the participants health, education, housing and labor market participation.

Various income movements [JURIST backgrounder] have increased over recent years. In June Swiss voters rejected [JURIST report] a universal basic income plan. In 2014 Swiss citizens also rejected [BBC report] a measure to give Switzerland the world’s highest minimum wage. That measure would have raised the Swiss minimum wage to 22 francs an hour. Both of these measures were rejected by over three-fourths of the population. In March Baltimore approved a raise [JURIST report] to the minimum wage. In February the UK Supreme Court upheld [JURIST report] minimum income for immigrant spouses.