Ontario is set to introduce a universal income program targeting adults between the ages of 18 and 65 in the coming spring. It will be $1320 CAD a month for a single person and potentially more for those with disabilities. It is one among several minimum income programs that are being discussed around the world in countries such as Finland and India. While the idea of a universal income is old, it has gained a lot of recent attention as a possible efficient solution to addressing poverty and increasing employment.
It is important to continue to fund pilot programs like those in Ontario and Finland so we can learn more about the effects of basic income and how it can work to eliminate poverty. These experimental communities are not necessarily representative of larger, more diverse populations, but they are an important place to start. Ontario intends to implement programs in urban and rural communities, as well as among indigenous populations, which will provide a good basis for further research into the benefits and downsides of universal income. Canada may lead the way in the restructuring of welfare for a changing economy with basic income measures as the basis, providing greater financial security across the board.