November 29, 2017 5:42 pm

Province tries new tactic to get Hamiltonians involved in basic income pilot project

Almost six months after launching the basic income pilot project in Hamilton, the provincial government hopes face-to-face meetings will attract more participants.

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The provincial government has changed gears as it tries to get people to sign on to the basic income pilot project.

READ MORE: Basic income best way to help families reliably put food on the table: report

In response to a slow start, the Ministry of Community and Social Services has started hosting in-person information and registration sessions.

The minister, Helena Jaczek, paid a visit to the first of those sessions on Wednesday afternoon at Hamilton’s Central Library.

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READ MORE: Ontario basic income pilot project to be tested in Hamilton, Lindsay, Thunder Bay

Only about 800 people in Ontario communities that are part of the pilot, including Hamilton and Brantford, have started receiving monthly basic income deposits after filling out applications that were sent in the mail. The goal is 4,000 participants.

Jaczek acknowledges that the previous approach may have left people “puzzled” or may have even been “intimidating” for some potential recipients.

Jaczek says the theory behind a basic income is “if you’ve got that security of knowing that you’re getting that amount of money” on a monthly basis you can plan your life more easily, maybe “get some further education or training because you’re not constantly worried.”

READ MORE: Ontario’s basic income pilot project focus of Hamilton town hall meeting

Potential participants must be between 18 and 64 years old, living in one of the pilot project regions for the last 12 months and living on a low-income (less than $34,000 for a single person and $48,000 for a couple).

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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