Across Canada, thousands of people living with disabilities face food insecurity and poverty. A well-funded federal disability income benefit can provide the kind of stable funding necessary to address this systemic problem.
That’s why, to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, PSAC echoes Disability Without Poverty, the Canadian Labour Congress, and other stakeholders in our call to fast track and pass the Canada Disability Benefit Act. We encourage members to call for the fast-tracking of this legislation, as your voices matter.
PSAC recognizes this international day annually, and the United Nations theme for this year is, “transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.” Unions continue to be a key agent in fighting for transformative solutions and fast-tracking this disability benefit would indeed be transformative for many.
People with disabilities represent 41 per cent of the population living below the poverty line in Canada. Bill C-22 will establish a disability benefit to reduce poverty and provide some measure of financial security to working-aged people with disabilities.
While this bill must be fast-tracked, it also has limitations and critiques that need to be addressed. The bill is vague on details including minimum amounts allocated, when payments would start, benefit increases due to inflation, and who is eligible for it. These and other critiques must be addressed in consultations with disability rights advocates and organizations.
The bill received a second reading in the House of Commons and is now under committee review, so it’s time to pressure the government to pass the legislation and have it implemented in the next federal budget. We can make a difference.
Add your name to demand your MP end disability poverty today.
PSAC members have always fought for equity and accessibility in the workplace and in our communities. Advocating for a robust disability benefit is an important act of solidarity and can make a big difference.
The global pandemic and soaring inflation continue to disproportionately impact people with disabilities, highlighting the need to fast track this legislation. There’s no time to wait.