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  • Hello lovely learnids! Welcome back to A

  • Life learned! Just wanted to share with

  • you guys the really nifty, and

  • unexpectedly cool experience of having

  • gone to the, um, consultation sessions for

  • the pilot project that they're planning

  • for Basic Income here in Ontario. Um, if you

  • guys aren't familiar with Basic Income, I

  • will link up here the video that I

  • talked about the different contrasting

  • approaches to it. Um, there's a lot of different

  • videos on YouTube that will give a very

  • easy, brief explanation of it, but the

  • general idea is a basic amount of money

  • for people who earn a lower than, uh,

  • certain amount, or who don't earn at all,

  • um, to reduce poverty. And uh, the idea is to bring

  • the current welfare programs, um, Ontario

  • Disability and Ontario Works or Ontario

  • Welfare together into one all-around

  • program that applies to a lot more

  • people. Um, I came to learn that this was

  • actually the 14th of 14 consultation, so it

  • was the last one; and, um, it was really

  • nicely set up! I was quite surprised to

  • see how everything was all laid out, and

  • there was tables, and tons of people there;

  • they had food and water, and um, a whole thing

  • set up, that I just, I really didn't know what to

  • expect, to be honest. Um, but ya, it was, it was very

  • professional, and it wasn't crowded or anything like that

  • And um, they had a very specific structure,

  • they laid out all kinds of information

  • on the table for everyone, including um, the

  • main questions that they were addressing;

  • and also discussing, um, just basic

  • information about, um, the different current

  • programs that exist. They also had a

  • really big informative booklet about,

  • um, Basic Income, (and uh, oh seems I got two of

  • those), and then they also provide an

  • evaluation, just for how we felt the

  • evening went. And um, overall I think it, it was

  • pretty good. I would have preferred a

  • little bit more opportunity for personal

  • input, um, in terms of like, uh, personal

  • experiences and how they contribute to how this might

  • benefit society. But overall there was a

  • pretty good opportunities for that because

  • at the end they did, um, actually

  • hand the mic around and have people, able,

  • allowed people the opportunity to ask

  • questions, or to offer opinions,

  • experiences, etc. Um, but at the beginning

  • they basically started it with a group

  • activity. They had everyone at separate

  • tables, um, and we were to introduce

  • ourselves, pick a writer, and pick a

  • speaker, and then, um, discuss the topic

  • that was on a big pamphlet paper on the

  • center of the table; and each table would

  • focus on one topic, and then if we wanted

  • to, we could move on to other topics

  • after that; and after a set amount of

  • time everyone, uh, stopped and they had one

  • person, (the speaker), from each table

  • presents the three basic ideas, or

  • answers to the big question, uh, or the main

  • question that each table was given; and

  • then after that was, as I mentioned, an

  • open discussion where we could ask

  • questions, or offer experiences. Uh, they

  • ultimately say that this is, um, after

  • tonight they have, apparently, two weeks

  • to get together all of the, (or maybe it was get one

  • week? A very short amount of time

  • anyways), to get together all of the

  • information that they're gathering from

  • everyone, and to, uh, basically summarize it

  • into a transcript to offer to the

  • Ontario government as information for

  • what they should do, or how they should

  • try to implement it,

  • um, so that it can all be designed for

  • April, and uh, implemented shortly after that, (though

  • they haven't set a specific day on

  • implementation). Um, there was a lot of

  • repeated comments, a lot of people had

  • the same things to say, (which, I mean, is

  • good! That means we have a concensus on

  • certain things that should be addressed

  • And it was really cool that as the mic was

  • being, uh, handed around people seem to have

  • answers to other people questions, um, with

  • regard to how certain things could be

  • handled. And I sat there for a good five

  • minutes, like shaking, and just being like,

  • 'uh, I don't know, maybe I should speak, maybe

  • I shouldn't?'. I sorta, I went intending to speak, but

  • I was nervous, I was scared, and I wasn't

  • sure if it, if I really, it was appropriate to

  • go- to speak about what I had originally

  • intended, (which was, um, how my personal

  • experience is very much related to my

  • poverty; um, my abuse is related to my poverty, and

  • a lot of it wouldn't have happened if I

  • wasn't impoverished). Um, and that wasn't

  • really, entirely relevant, but I did, I did

  • end up putting up my hand; I worked the

  • courage up. Um, when I was done I was

  • literally shaking like this; like you could

  • here me shaking as I was speaking; my voice

  • was shaking. It was pretty, hmm, but the people

  • at my table said I didn't do too bad, and

  • the main points that I brought up are

  • that there are already currently um,

  • intercommunity centers that can be used as

  • addresses for the homeless, so that the

  • homeless can be included within the

  • Basic Income program, (which is huge, because

  • they're the biggest faction of poverty that

  • are not helped through our current systems).

  • Um, I also addressed that, Aidan and I

  • agreed, (um, by the way, my friend Aidan came with

  • me - super awesome of him! I really

  • appreciated the support, and the help; and he

  • just has a lot of good things to add to the

  • conversation), um, and uh, we agreed that it

  • should be done on an individual basis, uh, or

  • determined on an individual- a person's

  • individual situation, instead of uh, as

  • couples or families per se, (um, children

  • aside, of course), because, uh, this allows a

  • lot more freedom for situations of

  • domestic abuse; particularly like my

  • situation, where I was in the situation as

  • long as I was, in a lot of senses, due to

  • financial dependence; and a lot of people

  • are in that situation when it comes to

  • spouses, and family members, and a lot of

  • different things. And uh, domestic abuse

  • doesn't really seem to be a thing considered very

  • often for Basic Income, so put in that

  • point as well. And then it was brought up

  • just before I spoke, uh, people being

  • concerned about all the jobs that might

  • be lost as they're trying to reduce the

  • administrative costs, basically of social

  • assistance, by introducing this Basic Income

  • program. And uh, with that, um, Aidan and I had

  • come up with a pretty decent counter, I

  • feel, that it seems reasonable to handle

  • that, is to offer subsidized education or

  • training for anyone who is within those

  • sectors of jobs that are being taken away

  • um, so that they can reapply thier skills

  • elsewhere. It is also very possible that

  • they can just be relocated, their skills

  • can be reapplied elsewhere without any

  • more training, (and by all means, if that's possible,

  • do that first!), but if training and

  • education is necessary in order to apply

  • themselves in a different area of the

  • community, allowing that- them that

  • opportunity would reduce the burden of

  • the fact that they've lost their job, and allow

  • them to continue contributing to society

  • and earning an income without- with it

  • having purpose, instead of just being an

  • income, for the sake of an income