New Democrats fight for increased support for people living with disabilities « Canada’s NDP

May 26, 2022 at 9:30 am  Federal, Politics

OTTAWA – Earlier this month, NDP Critic for Disability Inclusion, Bonita Zarrillo, secured support from all Members of Parliament to put in place a Canada Disability Benefit without delay. Thanks to Zarrillo’s motion, the federal government has finally committed to bringing legislation forward before the end of June, to make this benefit a reality.

“People living with a disability in Canada who have felt ignored by this government are rightly frustrated. For years they have heard empty promises with no real action from the government,” said Zarrillo. “People living with a disability make up 41 per cent of all those living in poverty in Canada. The pandemic created even more financial challenges for them and now, due to the rising costs of essentials like groceries and housing, people living with a disability are finding it even harder to make ends meet.”

People living with a disability were disappointed to see a bill introduced last year that the Liberals had no intention of adopting by calling an election. It was thin in detail and the government did not provide adequate time for it to be debated or improved and left millions of people without the help they needed when the election was called.

New Democrats are encouraged that they have successfully pressured the government to put forward new legislation. Zarrillo says it is crucial that the government must be clear by specifying how much financial assistance will be provided by a Canada Disability Benefit, assuring those living with disabilities that they won’t lose access to provincial benefits, and making sure a Canada Disability Benefit is quickly accessible to all people living with disabilities.

“It is shameful that the Liberals waited so long to help Canadians living with a disability. The Liberals have had seven years to enact a Federal Disability Benefit, yet never delivered on that promised support,” said Zarrillo. “New Democrats will continue to fight for people with disabilities in Canada to get the long-overdue support they need as fast as possible.”

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