Basic income
A homeless person sleeps under umbrella on a suitcase with personal belongings. (Photo credit: Dreamstime)

Lance Dingman’s dreams of becoming a minister were dashed when the Ontario government cancelled its basic income pilot project a few years ago.

Dingman, 62, was one of the first Hamilton residents to be part of the program after it was announced in 2017. The program guaranteed individuals $17,000 a year and couples $24,000.

Disabled people, like Dingman, received an additional $500 more each month. For recipients who worked, their basic income was reduced by half their job earnings.

“Everything improved,” says Dingman, who, before the project, worked two jobs and received money from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). His ODSP stopped when he was on basic income but he kept both jobs. His monthly budget increased by about $400, he said.

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Meagan Gillmore is an Ottawa-based reporter with a decade of journalism experience. Meagan got her start as a general assignment reporter at The Yukon News. She has freelanced for the CBC, The Toronto...