Open sign-ups for basic income in Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Lindsay

Kawartha Lakes' government building in Lindsay, ON.

The Ontario government is now holding their first ever open enrollment sessions in Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay for its basic income pilot, on dates between Nov. 29 through to Feb. 1.

For a full list of open enrollment dates and times of day, visit the government’s page here. Beside each date and time, people who want to participate can simply click ‘Register for This Session’ for the one they are most interested in attending.

Previously, the Province had only been working with local networks and community agencies to set up in-person enrollment sessions.

Thunder Bay (left), Hamilton (right) and Lindsay (bottom), sites of Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot.

“Now, we will be holding a number of open enrollment sessions in Lindsay over the coming weeks and into 2018,” says Kristin Tedesco, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

“We encourage those who think they may be eligible to attend a session and apply,” she says.

In order to participate in the pilot, individuals must be:

  • 18 to 64 years old (for the entire duration of the three-year study)
  • living in one of the selected test regions for the past 12 months or longer (and still live there)
  • living on a low income (under $34,000 per year if you’re single or under $48,000 per year if you’re a couple)

Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, Peter Milczyn, will be at a session in Lindsay at Kawartha Lakes Library on Dec. 1 in the morning to bring more attention to the open enrollments.

So far, about two thirds of basic income sign-ups have come from the so-called ‘working poor.’

Peter Milczyn.

Participants currently receiving child benefits, such as the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB), will continue to be eligible to receive them during the pilot. 

The three-year pilot is taking place in three sites: Lindsay; Hamilton, Brantford and Brant County; Thunder Bay and area.

Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot will be the largest study of its kind in North America with 4,000 participants at full enrollment. About half of those 4,000 people will be from Lindsay.

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