A decision by the new Progressive Conservative government in Ontario to scrap a basic income pilot project is raising concerns among proponents of the policy in B.C., where a study on the subject just began last month.

The cancellation came as a surprise to David Green because it comes one year into its planned three-year term and defies a promise Ford made during last spring’s election campaign. Details about how the pilot will be wound down, including whether the approximately 4,000 people receiving funds through the program will lose their benefits, are yet to be revealed.

Green, a UBC economist, was observing Ontario’s project closely, not least because he’s the chair of a three-person committee tasked with reporting to B.C.’s government about the feasibility of implementing some form of basic income.

“We know the context we’re facing — the NDP plus the Greens have a razor-thin hold on power,” Green said. “We know that something like what happened in Ontario could happen here.”