Basic income was life-changing for Jessica Topfer.
The Cannington, Ont. resident was a student at Trent University in 2017 when then-premier Kathleen Wynne’s government launched the largest basic income pilot North America had seen in 50 years.
“I was working full-time in addition to my full-time course load, so I was under a lot of stress. My mental health was not great. My social relationships were also not great,” Topfer said. “That first $714 cheque made a huge difference to me.”
It was enough to cover rent and help with some essentials. Soon, Topfer was able to work fewer hours at her part-time retail job, focus on school, and look for work in her field that was too precarious for her to take on before.
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