The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Regional Council endorses recommendations for studying a basic income guarantee

WHITBY, ON May 18, 2016 - Today, Durham Regional Council endorsed the basic income guarantee (BIG) recommendation that was brought forward by the Region’s Health & Social Services Committee. The BIG is based on a recommendation from the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Board of Health, which urges the governments of Canada and Ontario, but not municipalities, to study a basic income guarantee pilot as an option for reducing poverty and improving health.

“The basic income guarantee is defined as an income transfer from government to citizens that is not tied to labour market participation, but is based on an objective of universal income security and has the potential to alleviate or even eliminate poverty,” explained Roger Anderson, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “The Region endorses this concept and urges both the federal and Ontario governments to make long-term funding commitments towards the implementation, evaluation and outcome of the proposed pilot.”

The proposed BIG pilot, as outlined by the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Board of Health, should take the following factors into consideration for implementation as recommended by Durham Region’s Health & Social Services Committee:

“Support for the basic income guarantee from Regional Council, which is Durham Region’s board of health, is consistent with our public health mandate to address the determinants of health and reduce health inequities,” said Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health. “We’re pleased with Council’s endorsement and look forward to working with the various key stakeholders to move this initiative forward.”

For more information on Durham Region’s public health programs and services, please visit

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:
Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999 or

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For more information, please contact Health Department.