Ontario’s government announced in February that a pilot program will be coming to the Canadian province sometime later this year.
The premise: send people monthly checks to cover living expenses such as food, transportation, clothing, and utilities — no questions asked.
It’s a radical idea, and one that has been around since the 1960s. It’s called “basic income.” In the decades since it was first proposed, various researchers and government officials have given basic income experiments a try, to mixed results.
Folks at the Basic Income Canada Network, the national organization promoting basic income, have high hopes.
“We need it rolled out across Canada, and Quebec, too, is in the game,” said chair of BICN, Sheila Regehr, in a statement. “So there’s no reason why people and governments in other parts of this country need sit on the sidelines – it’s time for us all to get to work.”
Ontario officials haven’t decided when or where exactly it’ll roll out the program, nor how much each person will receive. When it does, the money will come from a portion ofOntario’s budget set aside for the experiment.