Canada's NDP


April 13th, 2023

Liberal government is failing to help lift Canadians living with a disability out of poverty

April 13, 2022

New Democrats secured dental care for people living with a disability by the end of this year, but say that more help is urgently needed

PORT MOODY —NDP Critic for Disability Inclusion Bonita Zarrillo (Port Moody—Coquitlam) has written a letter to Minister Carla Qualtrough and Deputy Prime Minister Minister Chrystia Freeland calling on the Liberal government to deliver immediate emergency income relief to lift Canadians living with a disability out of poverty.

While the Liberals say it will take months for the Canada Disability Benefit to be implemented, Zarrillo is urging the government to help people living with a disability in the interim so they can afford to buy groceries, pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads.

“Most Canadians are feeling the squeeze as food prices and housing costs are high. This is even tougher for folks living with a disability who are more likely to already be living in poverty,” said Zarrillo. “It was very disappointing that the Liberals didn’t include any direct financial support that persons living with a disability are counting on to make ends meet in the most recent budget. Minister Qualtrough has admitted that it will take many months for people to receive the Canada Disability Benefit but people living with a disability cannot and should not have to wait for support.”

Back in February, Zarrillo was pushing the Liberals to extend help for Canadians living with a disability as they face the rising costs of food, rent and basic necessities. New Democrats forced the Liberals to provide dental care for Canadians living with a disability, and advocated for another doubling of the GST rebate, but Zarrillo is clear that additional support can’t wait.

“It has been an uphill battle getting this government to support Canadians living with a disability who are disproportionately living in poverty. Without our constant pressure, even more people would be slipping through the cracks,” added Zarrillo. “The Liberals need to listen to people in their communities who are clearly asking for immediate assistance to make ends meet.”

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