PETITION TO ESTABLISH UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME IN ONTARIO
To The Legislative Assembly of Ontario:
Whereas The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the financial hardships of residents across Ontario; and
Whereas more than 67 per cent of Toronto-St. Paul’s residents are renters — many of whom are seniors on fixed income, single parent families, and people who depend on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) — who are facing eviction on August 1, putting more of a demand on our already at-capacity shelter system; and
Whereas the costs of poverty are borne by us all -- Feed Ontario’s 2019 Cost of Poverty Report, found that each household in Ontario is losing more than $2,300 each year because of the economic costs of poverty; and
Whereas Ontario families need support to be able to prioritize their health and the health of their families. No one should be forced to choose between feeding their family, buying medication, and paying rent.
Whereas the previous Ontario Liberal government failed to implement the substantial minimum wage and ODSP increases that Ontarians required. Instead it decided to cut funding for social housing and privatized Ontario Hydro -- the Ford government in 2018 cancelled the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project before collecting any substantial data; and
Whereas the provincial NDP committed in 2018 to making a universal basic income a reality within a decade; and
Whereas Ontario has the opportunity to be a provincial leader in championing basic income for all, and to work in partnership with federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who called for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to be turned into a universal benefit.
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:
The Ontario government immediately establish a pandemic-related emergency basic income plan to ensure every household receives $2,000 a month and an annual increase with inflation. That the basic income project be considered Phase 2 of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project with concrete plans to study the results with a view to establishing a permanent universal basic income program after the pandemic.