INCLUSION CANADA PRESS RELEASE:
HERALDING CHANGE – PARLIAMENT APPROVES PIONEERING DISABILITY BENEFIT LEGISLATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2023
OTTAWA, ON – Parliament passed Bill C-22, establishing the first-ever Canada Disability Benefit. This historic move paves the way for increased financial security and a more inclusive life for millions of Canadians with disabilities.
The transformative law begins to close a gaping hole in Canada’s social safety net, offering persons with disabilities greater financial security, more choice, freedom, and dignity to live inclusive lives in the community. “This is a historic milestone for our country,” says Krista Carr, Executive Vice President of Inclusion Canada, “For the first time, Canadians with disabilities will receive a federal income benefit that has the potential to significantly enhance their quality of life. It’s a victory we all should celebrate.”
Inclusion Canada wants to thank all parliamentarians, MPs and Senators, who lent their voices to pass this bill with all-party support. In particular, we would like to thank Minister of Employment & Workforce Development & Disability Inclusion, Hon. Carla Qualtrough, for her relentless advocacy for the passage of this bill during this session of parliament.
The hard work and dedication of the disability community has finally paid off. We also thank and acknowledge the strong advocacy of our organization’s federation, families and individuals who were there at every step of the way to advocate on the importance of the benefit to their MP and Senator.
“I am delighted and relieved with the passage of Bill C-22. Finally, we have the foundation to further address the unacceptable rates of poverty experienced by people with intellectual disabilities.” says Inclusion Canada President Robin Acton, “As the parent of a young woman with a disability, I know the benefit will have a significant and lasting impact on the financial security of individuals with an intellectual disability across the country.”
People with disabilities make up 40% of the low-income population in Canada. For people with intellectual disabilities, the situation is even worse. 73% of working-age adults with an intellectual disability live in poverty. The Canada Disability Benefit will be a significant tool for advancing inclusion and dismantling systemic barriers built into Canada’s social infrastructure.
While this historic moment must be celebrated, the work is far from over. Regulations must now be developed that will determine the parameters of the benefit. Inclusion Canada and its Federation now stand ready with the disability community to work collaboratively on the co-design of Bill C-22’s regulations. We hold fast to the government’s commitment to “nothing about us without us”. We are ready to get to work.
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Inclusion Canada is a national federation of 13 provincial-territorial associations and over 300 local associations working to advance the full inclusion and human rights of people with an intellectual disability and their families. We lead the way in building an inclusive Canada by strengthening families, defending rights, and transforming communities into places where everyone belongs.