Ontario government defends its decision to cancel basic income pilot project

The Ontario government has defended its decision to cancel the province’s basic income pilot project and cut the promised increase to the social assistance payment in half.

Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod hinted that the program discouraged participants from finding work.

Minister McLeod says giving people money “with no strings attached” goes against the government’s goal of getting people back on track and making them productive members of society.

On Tuesday, she announced that her government would be “winding down” the program, which gave payments to low-income people in certain communities.

The minister did not give a timeline for the winding down process to happen.

Minister McLeod also noted that the three per cent increase in social assistance payments, that the previous Liberal government promised, would be cut to 1.5 per cent as the province works on a plan to revamp the system.