Ontario’s basic income pilot has begun to produce some observations and anecdotes. A thorough, high level analysis will need to be done at the conclusion of the three-year, three-community trial but expectations are high. The pilot project is not quite a full-on basic income, more of a test apparatus designed to gather evidence of what actually happens in the lives of a recipient.
Yes, there is still a fair bit of naysaying and skepticism out there. Some of it from surprising directions like a major anti-poverty activist here in Ontario and from union figures. Another hurdle may be the upcoming provincial election. All kinds of right wing critters and neoliberal reactionaries are looking for power, for gravy trains to stop, as it were. The pilot project may be an early target in the election and for whoever gets into the premier’s office. In the meantime, words from the participants are appropriate.
From ‘barely surviving’ to thriving: Ontario basic income recipients report less stress, better health. The three-year pilot project, which began last summer, is testing whether no-strings-attached cash support can boost health, education and housing for people living in poverty
image: Hefin Owen via Flickr/CC
To keep you out of harm’s way should recent weather warnings turn out not to be exaggerations – some features about having the kinds of communities we’d like to have.
Media get it wrong on Bank of Canada minimum wage study
The places that may never recover from the recession.
The Rust Belt isn’t the only region left behind by the economic recovery. The suburbs of the American west are struggling, too
In defence of degrowth
Poor neighbourhoods make the best investments
image: via Flickr/CC
Since it is tough at times for a mentally healthy and able bodied person to make socioeconomic progress we need to make an effort to understand those facing serious extra challenges.
Fortress North America doesn’t really hear much about New Zealand, does it? In terms of suburban poverty this feature from the summer begins to correct that a little.
Childhood diseases in the land of milk and poverty
nzherald.co.nz (video 2:14)
Suburban poverty has its own awful Australian TV show. Great! It looks like some of what is often called poverty porn found on UK TV and must surely generate similar feelings. On one hand this kind of thing brings attention to issues of poverty and social difficulty under neo-liberalism in a resource-research country (sound familiar Canada?). On the other hand does it change anything, help anyone?
West Point Grey is out toward University of British Columbia and mostly it embodies the best of things Vancouver has to offer. Unless you are living there in a van. Such folk seem to be all over town now. For the moment, the police are concerned about the phenomenon but there are no plans for a US-style crackdown on van dwellers. As long as the vehicles remain mobile and nuisances are kept to a minimum it appears that this improvised manner of living is set to take hold. Why? Vancouver always had its share of social difficulty. After all, it’s comparatively mild, and it is literally the end of the road in Canada. Now it is also stupidly expensive for most waged workers. Small wonder, really.
image: A Kwanten via Flickr/CC
Toronto’s Edwardian past is still here in much of the street grid and through older built structures. Unfortunately, you could say the way many a Torontonian lives right now is Edwardian.
Minimum-wage earners in Toronto do not make enough money to thrive. Report finds that residents need more than double what they earn on minimum wage, and that social policies need to be adjusted to meet the needs to present-day society
image: Daniel Varas via Flickr/CC