CMHA Ontario is pleased the provincial government is examining the feasibility of the Basic Income Pilot Project, but believes mental health and addictions sector must be a key contributor in the discussion.
CMHA Ontario’s position is that any basic income provided to individuals with a mental illness shouldn’t result in a reduction to ODSP benefits.
CMHA Ontario came to this conclusion after participating in a public consultation about the proposed pilot project held Dec. 8 in Toronto.
This is because nearly half of all people receiving benefits from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) live with a mental illness. CMHA Ontario’s position is that any basic income provided to individuals with a mental illness shouldn’t result in a reduction to ODSP benefits.
CMHA Ontario CEO Camille Quenneville and CMHA Ontario policy staff were among about 25 individuals representing various social service, health and community-related organizations who were invited by the government.
Discussion covered several aspects of the proposed pilot, including determining eligibility for a basic income, what the basic income should be, and which communities should pilot the study.
The government launched consultations in November after it released Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario earlier in 2016.