Class action lawsuit filed over cancelled basic income project
Four recipients of the basic income payments are the initial plaintiffs in the action
Four people who had been receiving a basic guaranteed income under a pilot project have launched a proposed class action against the Progressive Conservative government for canceling it.
The former Liberal government announced the project in April 2017 to provide a guaranteed annual income to participants in three Ontario cities -- Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay -- with the intent of making it a three-year study.
The Tories announced in July that they were canceling the project.
The lawyer for the proposed lead plaintiffs alleges in a statement of claim filed today that the early termination of basic income payments amounts to a breach of contract.
Lawyer Stephen Moreau writes that the pilot participants relied on the ministry to administer the payments, and the government owed them a duty of care.
Moreau says after the cancellation of the project, people suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and depression.
It will be the second effort to have the courts overturn the decision.
In February, an Ontario court dismissed an attempt by basic income recipients to get a judicial review of the program's cancellation.
A three-judge panel ruled that the court can't review a provincial policy decision. So it can't review the Ontario government's decision to cancel the project.
"The responsibility for the management of the public funds rests with the government and not the court, as does the correctness of the government's decisions and policies," that decision said.
The program's official end is the last day of March.