Ontario Basic Income Pilot Helping Provide More Security and Opportunity

400 People to Receive a Basic Income This Month, Pilot Launching in Lindsay

October 4, 2017 9:00 A.M.

Ministry of Community and Social Services

Four hundred people from Hamilton, Brantford, Brant County and Thunder Bay and the surrounding area will be receiving a basic income this month as part of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot (OBIP), giving them the chance to expand their opportunities and job prospects while providing greater security for themselves and their families.

Ontario’s economy is in a relatively strong position, however many people in the province are not feeling that growth in their everyday lives. People are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living and facing “precarious employment” with little job security or benefits.

Launched in the spring of this year, the three-year, 4,000-participant pilot is testing whether a basic income can better support vulnerable workers, improve health and education outcomes for people on low incomes, and help ensure that everyone shares in Ontario’s economic growth.

Progress so far includes:

  • This month 400 people will receive a basic income payment, with more applications currently being processed. Enrollment in Lindsay will begin next week.
  • Establishing a Minister’s Advisory Council, led by Susan McIsaac, former President & CEO of United Way Toronto and York Region, which will provide advice and recommendations to the government to achieve successful delivery of the pilot.
  • Striking a Research and Evaluation Advisory Committee, led by Dr. Kwame McKenzie, CEO of the Wellesley Institute and Special Advisor to the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, which will provide advice and recommendations on the evaluation of the pilot.
  • Selecting a team of leading researchers, experts and academics led by St. Michael’s Hospital and McMaster University to evaluate the pilot.

As part of the next phase of the pilot, engagement will continue with First Nations and Provincial and Territorial Organizations on a First Nations Basic Income Pilot.

Ensuring everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • The three-year pilot is taking place in three sites: Hamilton, Brantford and Brant County; Thunder Bay (including Oliver Paipoonge, Shuniah, Neebing, Conmee, O’Connor and Gillies); and Lindsay.
  • The Ontario Basic Income Pilot will be the largest study of its kind in North America with 4,000 participants at full enrollment.
  • Enrollment in the first two pilot sites began this June with the mailing of application packages to random households in Hamilton, Brantford, Brant County and Thunder Bay and the surrounding area.
  • Enrollment in the Lindsay pilot will begin next week. People interested in learning more about this pilot should contact basicincome@ontario.ca.
  • The first basic income payments were made on July 25, 2017. Ontario Basic Income Pilot payments are made on or around the 25th of each month.
  • Participants could receive up to $16,989 per year for a single person, up to $24,027 for a couple and up to an additional $6,000 per year for a person with a disability.

Additional Resources


“The Ontario Basic Income Pilot is well underway. This month 400 people will receive a basic income payment and more applications are currently being processed. There is still more to come and we’ve got the right people in place to help us make sure that the Ontario Basic Income Pilot is fair, effective and scientifically valid.”

Peter Milczyn
Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy and Minister of Housing

“We are one step closer today to learning whether a basic income will be a better way to support those who need it most by allowing them to make ends meet and make decisions about their future while also improving their physical and mental health, and making them better able to participate in their community.”

Dr. Helena Jaczek
Minister of Community and Social Services

“Today, by showing how much progress has been made implementing the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, the government is delivering on its commitment to reduce poverty and provide people with the support they need to reach their full potential. I’m thrilled to see how far we’ve come and look forward to learning about how a basic income could improve the lives of people here in Hamilton and across Ontario.”

Ted McMeekin
MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale

Media Contacts

Lyndsay Miller
Minister’s Office, Ministry of Community and Social Services

Myriam Denis
Minister’s Office, Ministry of Housing

Kristen Tedesco
Communications Branch, Ministry of Community and Social Services


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