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  • News
  • January 24, 2017

Local Consultations Taking Place in Ottawa on Basic Income

Province Seeking Input on Innovative Way to Deliver Supports

Ontario is seeking public input to help inform the design of a basic income pilot, which is an innovative new approach to providing income security.


The pilot would test whether a basic income is a more effective way of lifting people out of poverty and improving health, housing and employment outcomes.


As part of this work, residents of Ottawa will have the opportunity to contribute their ideas on how best to design, test and implement a basic income pilot.


A regional consultation session was held on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre. The consultations were guided, in part, by Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario a discussion paper by the Hon. Hugh Segal, and will run from November 2016 to January 2017.


People can also comment online or take part in smaller, self-directed community conversations. A consultation guide has been developed to support these conversations.



“Ontario is taking the lead in Canada by exploring innovative solutions that could help address poverty in our communities. A basic income pilot could be one such solution but we need to take an evidence-based approach. It’s important we hear from people in Ottawa on the potential design and approach for a basic income pilot.”

— Nathalie Des Rosiers, MPP Ottawa-Vanier

“We are always looking for innovative, evidence-based solutions that can help us end poverty and improve public services to make them simpler, more efficient and more effective for the people who need them the most. This pilot is an opportunity to test that approach, and we look forward to hearing as many views as possible, including from people with lived experience, community partners, and experts, to ensure we get it right.”

— Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister Community and Social Services


“We know that many Ontarians are still living in poverty and that we must continue to look for ways to address this challenge. A basic income pilot is an innovative, evidence-generating tool that will help us identify what’s working, measure our progress, and expand our toolbox as we explore better ways to build a foundation for Ontarians to realize their full potential.” 

— Hon. Chris Ballard, Minister of Housing and the Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy   





  • Finland, the Netherlands and Kenya are also looking at developing pilot projects that test the idea of a basic or guaranteed annual income.
  • Special Advisor the Hon. Hugh Segal has delivered his discussion paper Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario.
  • The government will prepare a final report on what we heard during the consultations, and introduce a plan for the pilot by April 2017.
  • Organizations interested in hosting their own basic income pilot discussions can go to for more information.




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