June 2nd, 2022
Liberals present the same empty plan for Canadians living with disabilities after a year of delay
NDP critic for Disability Inclusion Bonita Zarrillo made the following statement:
“The government has made Canadians living with a disability wait an entire year to hear nothing new on the Canada Disability Benefit. Why? It is incredibly disappointing that the proposal they have brought forward is exactly the same as it was a year ago — no improvements and no urgency. It’s clear they haven’t been listening to Canadians living with a disability or the organizations who advocate for them.
People living with disabilities have faced substantial financial difficulty over the last two years — 41 per cent of those living in poverty in Canada have a disability. And now the skyrocketing cost of living is making home prices, rent and groceries even more unaffordable for people who were already struggling to make ends meet.
Sadly, this Liberal government continues to treat Canadians living with a disability as an afterthought. Instead of getting millions of Canadians the support they deserve, they chose to call a snap election last year. Despite having a year to make improvements, the government still isn’t providing a solution to lift people out of poverty, and they haven’t addressed the concern that their proposal will continue to exclude thousands of Canadians with disabilities.
If they were going to table the exact same bill, they should have done it immediately after the unnecessary election. This morning, the minister suggested to the media that it could be three years before people actually get paid their Canada Disability Benefit. It is completely inexcusable that they wasted an entire year for no reason.
The government needs to answer to Canadians living with disabilities. They need to explain why they didn’t put this forward back in November, so that MPs from all parties could make improvements to it and finally deliver financial help to people who need it now.
New Democrats have been fighting tirelessly to ensure people living with disabilities in Canada have access to the benefits and financial supports they need to live with autonomy and dignity. We will continue to push the government to ensure that legislation on a Canada Disability Benefit provides comprehensive, immediate support that lifts people out of poverty and doesn’t leave any one behind.”