No matter how you feel about Ontario’s basic income project (I’m for it for a number of reasons, for the record), it’s awfully hard to see the Doug Ford governments decision to yank it out from under people without warning years early and in spite of a promise not to do that as anything other than a dick move. When you make a deal with someone in good faith, you don’t sign that deal expecting the other party not to honour it simply because they wake up one day and don’t fucking feel like it, do you? Of course you don’t. Nobody does. But that’s exactly what Ford and Lisa MacLeod did to a few thousand people who made some pretty major life decisions based on the assumption that things were going to be a certain way and that they could trust their government not to lie to them, and now they’re getting sued for doing so, as they should.
Getting sued, by the way, seems to be what this government does. And it’s worth pointing out that they only took over at the end of June, so all of that is just since then. Yes, our provincial government has been taken to court more than once a month so far. The next four years are gonna be great. Party with taxpayers’ money, indeed.
But back to this basic income pilot. Yesterday, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services issued a news release about its wind down, and it, in the spirit of consistency that this government has rather quickly established, is pretty well steaming hot garbage.
Right out of the gate, these shameless shitbags have the frigging unmitigated audacity to call themselves “Ontario’s Government for the People. What people would those be, pray tell? Not the poor people, that’s obvious. Disabled people? They’ve had promised increases to their benefits slashed as well and Doug has made it pretty clear that he would rather not have them around, so it’s not them. Minority people? That’s iffy at best. Gay people? Nope. So who’s left? Oh. right.
Moving on, we are soon informed that arbitrarily tearing up a deal and throwing people’s lives into absolute chaos and disarray is compassionate because, you see, they’re going to have until the end of March to figure everything out. As anyone familiar with these systems will tell you, six months should be plenty of time for everyone to get their paperwork in order and be settled into their new accommodations, especially if they require subsidized housing. “ROTFLMAO,” they will then add before collapsing into a sobbing heap.
And perhaps most unnerving of all, it sounds quite a bit like Lisa MacLeod doesn’t understand how research works.
Ontario’s Government for the People announced today that the Basic Income research project will wind down at the end of the fiscal year.
“We have a broken social service system. A research project that helps less than four thousand people is not the answer and provides no hope to the nearly two million Ontarians who are trapped in the cycle of poverty,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “We are winding down the basic income research project in a compassionate way.”
Please, Lisa, do tell me more about all of the cancer treatment trials and such that involve like 20 million people and no control group. I can’t wait. I went into this government expecting that Doug wasn’t going to know shit about shit, but I expected a little better from you.
It’s more likely, of course, that she knows full well how dumb this sounds and is hoping, as this government does, that we’re all too stupid to notice. And given that we all had the ability to look, listen, read and learn before the election and yet enough of us still bought in to win them a majority, they might just be right. They have to be right, because to believe anything else means that there really are that many people in this province who just flat don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves, and I refuse to believe that.