Basic income pilot holds promise for adults who have an intellectual disability
Community Living Ontario to discuss project details with Minister Jaczek
Toronto, ON – Community Living Ontario is very encouraged by the Government of Ontario’s announcement regarding the basic income pilot project and the significance for tens of thousands of Ontarians who have an intellectual disability and their families.
Under the three-year plan that was announced yesterday by Premier Kathleen Wynne in Hamilton, every adult aged 18 to 64 that participates will receive $16,989 a year, while couples will see $24,027. People who have a disability will receive an additional $6,000. The areas of the province included as part of the basic income pilot are Hamilton, Brantford, Brant County, Thunder Bay, Lindsay and First Nations communities. People will be randomly selected by mail to take part voluntarily, beginning later this spring.
“All too often poverty is the single greatest barrier for a person who has an intellectual disability in accessing and participating actively in their community. The basic income pilot will enable a single adult who has an intellectual disability to be above the poverty line and to retain existing benefits under the current Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). More importantly, this initiative has the potential to positively impact almost every aspect of a person’s life, from having a home of one’s own choosing to accessing healthier foods, public transportation and educational opportunities,” said Chris Beesley, Chief Executive Officer of Community Living Ontario.
“The pilot project should provide for greater equality and dignity for all adults living in the communities involved. While the project is rolled out and studied, at the same time, we must continue to seek out immediate opportunities to improve the health, education and housing outcomes of people who have an intellectual disability,” added Beesley.
Community Living Ontario looks forward to discussing the details of the basic income pilot project when the organization and representatives of the Community Living Movement meet with Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services, on May 9th at Queen’s Park as part of Community Living Day at the Legislature. Minister Jaczek and Housing Minister Chris Ballard developed the project with involvement from former Conservative senator Hugh Segal.
Clarification will be sought on how to ensure people who have an intellectual disability are able participate in the pilot project and are supported to do so, as well as the implications for the $200 ODSP work exemption and the $100 work-related benefit for recipients who are employed.
– 30 –
Community Living Ontario is a family-based association assisting people who have an intellectual disability and their families to lead the way in advancing inclusion in their lives and in their communities. We represent more than 12,000 people, families and over 100 member organizations across the province.
For additional information, please contact:
Ron Laroche, Director of Communications, Marketing and Fund Development for Community Living Ontario, T: 416-447-4348, ext. 223, M: 416-707-4907, firstname.lastname@example.org.