’Realities’ Force Ontario To Can Universal Basic Income Scheme

Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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The new Conservative government in Ontario said Wednesday that it is canning a universal basic income scheme for the province because of the fiscal “realities.”

Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod told reporters that although the Conservatives didn’t oppose the measure during the recent election campaign, they do now, CBC News reports.

“[There’s] the decision in the campaign, and then you find the realities of when you’re in government,” MacLeod said in Toronto. She promised to “come up with a better plan in 100 days. I, in good conscience, could not proceed on the patchwork of systems that the Liberals had in place.”

Although MacLeod said the Doug Ford government would not forget “the people who are the most vulnerable,” she argued that a universal basic income scheme is not the best way to move the impoverished towards an adequate income.

The program was part of the ever-widening social security net create by the previous Liberal government in Ontario. Business and industry argued that basic income schemes are just another form of welfare that do not encourage people to find stable work as long as the government guarantees a fixed income.

“It really is a disincentive to get people back on track,” she told reporters.

“When you’re encouraging people to accept money without strings attached, it really doesn’t send the message that I think our ministry and our government wants to send. We want to get people back on track and be productive members of society where that’s possible.”

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