Hundreds protest cancellation of basic income pilot program

Click to play video 'Lindsay rally against axing basic income project' Lindsay rally against axing basic income project
Hundreds of people turn out in Lindsay to protest the Ford government's decision to cut the basic income pilot project two years early – Aug 7, 2018

A few hundred people gathered in Lindsay’s Victoria Park on Tuesday to send a message back to Queen’s Park: don’t cancel the basic income pilot program.

The protesters were angry at Premier Doug Ford for cutting the project two years early.

More than 2,000 residents in the City of Kawartha Lakes were in the program. They received approximately $1,400 per month.

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“I don’t know how else to put it, and excuse my language, by I think this is a really sh*tty thing that the government has done,” said Andy Letham, mayor of the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Up until its cancellation, the pilot was being run in Hamilton, Brantford, Brant County, Thunder Bay, the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge, Township of Shuniah, Municipality of Neebing, Township of Conmee, Township of O’Connor, Township of Gillies and Lindsay.

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To qualify, you had to be living on a low income (under $34,000 per year if you’re single or under $48,000 per year if a couple).

“The project has made this about Lindsay and Kawartha Lakes, so today we stand up, if we’re able to, and stand together,” said Mike Perry, executive of the local family health team.

“We can have buck-a-beer, but we can’t have viable social policy?” asked Roderick Benns, publisher of the Lindsay Advocate. “It’s something that gives people a hand up and gives people hope.”