“The right thing to do”: Federal government tables Canada Disability Benefit Act.
On Tuesday June 22nd, the federal government took an important step towards lifting disabled Canadians out of poverty by tabling Bill C-35 to “reduce poverty and support the financial security of persons with disabilities by establishing the Canada disability benefit”.
Disability Without Poverty recognizes this as a hopeful day for disabled people living in poverty. We thank Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Qualtrough for their crucial work in bringing this new benefit closer to reality. This is a historic commitment, with our government recognizing the link between disability and poverty, and committing to comprehensive action to address it.
The new bill is in keeping with the opinion of a majority of Canadians. In an Angus Reid Institute poll released today, June 22nd. Canadians send a strong message of support for this benefit (88%), and agree by the same amount, 88%, that “it’s the right thing to do.”
In her remarks on Bill C35, Minister Qualtrough presented a compelling case for need for this benefit, saying “there are 6 million Canadians living with a disability. In 2017 nearly 850,000 working aged Canadians with disabilities lived in poverty … and we know that the pandemic has made things much worse and hit Canadians with disabilities harder. I have no doubt that the number of Canadians living in poverty has only increased during the past year. This is unacceptable.”
We agree. And so do Canadians. In the Angus Reid survey Canadians said that “it’s time the country came together to end disability poverty”.
At Disability Without Poverty, we are committed to working with federal and provincial governments to fast track an inclusive design process and we are heartened by the commitment in Bill C35 to “nothing about us without us”. We will work with all federal, provincial and territorial leaders to make the development of the Canada Disability Benefit the finest example of cooperative federalism.
ABOUT DISABILITY WITHOUT POVERTY
Disability without Poverty (DWP) is a grassroots disability-led movement formed to ensure disabled people are involved in the design of a Canadian Disability Benefit. DWP is staffed and directed by disabled people. Members of the Disability without Poverty movement include disabled people, their families, friends, service providers, and allies.