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Letter to the Editor: Ontario's Basic Income Pilot status update

To the Editor: Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot was launched this spring in Hamilton, Brantford, Brant County and Thunder Bay and surrounding area.
Minister of Community and Social Services Helena Jaczek. ( file photograph)

To the Editor:

Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot was launched this spring in Hamilton, Brantford, Brant County and Thunder Bay and surrounding area.‎ The Pilot will provide a monthly payment to eligible families or individuals ensuring a minimum income level, whether they are employed or unemployed.

The three-year pilot will test whether we can better support vulnerable workers and improve health, education and housing outcomes for people on low incomes, while ensuring everyone shares in Ontario’s economic growth.

Since the launch, we’ve been receiving questions and feedback about the application package and process. So, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with information on the application process and the application package itself.

Currently, application packages are being mailed out to randomly selected households within the pilot regions. Together with Canada Post, we are working to develop lists of addresses that would include people from different household types and incomes to ensure the process is fair and ethical. We spoke to experts in deciding on this approach. This approach is important for the integrity of the pilot study — we want to make sure we have a range of participants so we can accurately measure and analyse the impacts of receiving a basic monthly income. Because this process is by random selection, some individuals who receive an application package may not actually be eligible to participate in the pilot. However, you may pass the application package to someone else living in the same household that you believe may be eligible.

If you receive a package, you may be eligible if you or another person living your household are 18 to 64 years old, ‎have lived in a test location for the past 12 months or longer (and still live there), and live on a low income (defined as individuals earning under approximately $34,000/year and couples earning under approximately $48,000/year).

Help to complete the application is available by phone and in-person – and contact information can be found on the application package. You may also contact us by telephone at 1-844-217-4516 or by email at

If you have questions about Basic Income, you can find out more, and even get help filling out your application at our upcoming community information session being held in Thunder Bay:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
West Thunder Community Centre
915 Edward St. S.
Thunder Bay ON
P7E 6R2


Dr. Helena Jaczek
Minister of Community and Social Services