Hugh Segal to advice Ontario on Basic Income pilot project

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Potential tremendous, says Segal

Ontario has appointed the Hugh Segal to provide advice on the design and implementation of a Basic Income Pilot in Ontario, as announced in the 2016 Budget.

Basic income, or guaranteed annual income, is a payment to eligible families or individuals that ensures a minimum level of income. Ontario will design and implement a pilot program to test the growing view that a basic income could help deliver income support more efficiently, while improving health, employment and housing outcomes for Ontarians.

As Special Advisor on Basic Income, Mr. Segal will draw on his expertise in Canadian and international models of basic income and consult with thought leaders to help Ontario design a pilot. Segal,  (born October 13, 1950) is a political strategist, author, commentator, academic and former Senator.. He served as Chief of Staff to Ontario Premier Bill Davis and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

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Segal resigned from the Senate effective June 15, 2014, prior to his upcoming appointment as Master of Massey College, Toronto for a seven-year term effective July 1, 2014.

Hugh Segal said on his appointment: “I am delighted to be working with the government to help lay the groundwork for a Basic Income Pilot in Ontario. The potential for a Basic Income to transform income security in Ontario and across the country is tremendous, and I look forward to contributing to this bold initiative.”

Mr. Segal will deliver a discussion paper to the province by the fall to help inform the design and implementation of the pilot, on a pro bono basis. The discussion paper will include advice about potential criteria for selecting target populations and/or locations, delivery models and advice about how the province could evaluate the results of the Basic Income Pilot. Ontario will undertake further engagement with experts, communities and other stakeholders as it moves towards design and implementation.

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Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, said: “Ontario is taking a leading role in piloting a modern Basic Income, and we are thrilled that the Honourable Hugh Segal will be lending us his considerable expertise in this regard. We want to ensure that we are developing a thoughtful, evidence-based approach to test the idea of a Basic Income, and we look forward to Mr. Segal’s advice as we begin this work.”

  • Finland, Netherlands and Kenya are all looking at developing pilot projects that test the idea of a basic or annual guaranteed income.
  • MINCOME in 1975-78 tested the idea of a guaranteed annual income in Dauphin, Manitoba.
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