Thunder Bay chosen for basic income project, mayor says 'thank you'

Thunder Bay has been chosen by the Ontario Liberal government as one of three cities to take part in a “basic income” pilot project, and Mayor Keith Hobbs extends his thanks.

Three-year-program will provide monthly income to those making under $17K

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs hopes Ontario's plan to provide a basic income would lift some Thunder Bay residents out of poverty. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Thunder Bay has been chosen by the Ontario Liberal government as one of three cities to take part in a "basic income" pilot project, and Mayor Keith Hobbs extends his thanks.

In Hamilton today, Premiere Kathleen Wynne said that "people participating in our pilot communities will receive a minimum amount of income each year— a basic income, no matter what."

It's expected that the program will start for people making under $17,000 a year.

"But even that amount may make a real difference to someone who is striving to reach for a better life," Wynne said.

Hobbs said he supports the government's decision to test the program here.

"A basic income will help lift so many vulnerable people out of poverty and strive for a better life, and we would like to thank Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Province for including Thunder Bay in this three-year study," the mayor stated in a press release today.

"People are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living," Hobbs said, "and this pilot will help determine whether a basic income can bridge that gap."

The other cities taking part in the study are Hamilton and Lindsay.

Wynne also said that picking Thunder Bay as test city wasn't a random choice.

"We have chosen these communities intentionally because they are the right size and they have the right mix of population," she said.

The province has said it will launch the pilot project providing money to low-income households with no strings attached.

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