Original language of petition: English
Working age persons with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty and less likely to be able to earn income through employment compared to other working age Canadians. As a result, close to one million Canadians with disabilities live in poverty, with over half a million of those Canadians living in deep poverty. That is why our Government is taking action through the creation of a Canada Disability Benefit.
The Government remains committed to the re-introduction and implementation of a Canada Disability Benefit Act that will support hundreds of thousands of working age Canadians with disabilities living in poverty. This commitment was reiterated on December 16, 2021 in the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion’s mandate letter, which asks the Minister to “move forward with the design, introduction and implementation of a Canada Disability Benefit Act and Canada Disability Benefit for low-income working age persons with disabilities.” The aim of the proposed benefit is to reduce poverty by supplementing existing federal and provincial-territorial supports.
Our intention is to move forward as fast as we can while also ensuring that the design and implementation of the benefit is managed in a way that maximizes its positive impacts and minimizes any potential negative impacts. That is why we are proceeding with engagement with both persons with disabilities as well as provinces and territories on the design.
The Government is continuing to engage the disability community on aspects of the proposed benefit’s design. During the summer 2021, in keeping with Canada’s commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the spirit of “Nothing Without Us,” the Government launched an engagement process to seek input on the Disability Inclusion Action Plan and the proposed Canada Disability Benefit from disability communities, researchers, Indigenous organizations and other stakeholders. This engagement included an online survey that closed last fall and received input from approximately 8,600 Canadians. The Government has also been hosting a series of roundtables with persons with disabilities, national disability organizations, disability service providers, organizations representing racialized persons with disabilities and disability researchers to seek input on key questions related to the design and delivery of the proposed benefit. In addition, funding agreements are being put in place to support disability organizations and national Indigenous organizations to engage their members on the Disability Inclusion Action Plan and the proposed benefit. These engagement efforts will continue throughout the parliamentary and regulatory processes to ensure the meaningful engagement of persons with disabilities.
In addition, provincial and territorial governments are critical partners in developing the proposed Canada Disability Benefit. An initial meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services took place in July 2021 where Ministers committed to work together to improve outcomes for persons with disabilities. The Government will continue to work closely with provinces and territories on the design of the proposed benefit, which will be grounded in the CRPD, in order to maximize the impact that this new benefit will have on reducing poverty and supporting the financial security of working-age persons with disabilities and to ensure it does not create any unintended consequences.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
|Province / Territory||Signatures|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||158|
|Prince Edward Island||75|