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2 June, 2023

Press Release: 2023 Disability Poverty report card

For Immediate Release

June 2nd, 2023

Government progress incomplete, as people with disabilities continue to struggle in deep poverty

(Toronto)  People with disabilities living alone–especially women with disabilities–are disproportionately impacted by poverty.

Disability Without Poverty, in collaboration with Campaign 2000, released its first annual report card on disability poverty in Canada today. The message is clear: there is still a lot of work to be done, as we grade the government’s progress as incomplete.

“Today marks one year since the Canada Disability Benefit bill was tabled. Every time we feel hopeful, the political process delays it passing into law. People with disabilities are losing hope in this government, in Parliament,” states Disability Without Poverty National Director, Rabia Khedr.

Key highlights include:

  • Women with disabilities were more likely to live in poverty than men. This was especially true if people lived alone.
  • The elimination of all temporary pandemic measures means poverty rates will probably rise back up to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Data collection on people with disabilities who live in poverty is inadequate. It misses out many groups, including those who live in group homes and long-term care.

“This is a picture of disability poverty in Canada in 2023, and it’s unacceptable. No one, especially disabled people, should live in poverty. When our second report card is written next year, I hope we can say that much more progress has been achieved,” says Michelle Hewitt, Disability Without Poverty Chair.

“The pandemic, government response and significant reduction in poverty rates demonstrated that disability poverty is a policy choice,” states Leila Sarangi, a representative of Campaign 2000.

The Canada Disability Benefit was first proposed in September 2020. Today, we wait for it to achieve Royal Assent. We call on the government to ensure that this happens before Parliament recesses for the summer. Because poverty does not take a break.

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