Dealing with Today´s Disability Poverty

For immediate release

Winnipeg, MB, 22 March 2011 --At the personal level poverty means doing without many of life’s essentials. For Canadians with disabilities, this translates into living without needed technical aids that bridge obstacles in a person’s life; having to forego eating well because you apply your food budget to the rent to live in an accessible building; cutting your pills in half to make them last longer because you can’t afford to buy more. These are the types of choices that you have to make when you are living on less than $10,000 a year. When it developed its spending plan for the next year, Canada’s Federal Government forgot the needs that people with disabilities are facing today. This Government has been doing an admirable job, through the RDSP program, helping Canadians with disabilities save for a more secure tomorrow, but it has forgotten those living in abject poverty today.

The disability community has shared with the Federal Government a plan, with short and long term steps, for eradicating disability poverty. A refundable Disability Tax Credit is the measure that many of us in the disability community were hoping to see in Budget 2011, but, once again, the Federal Budget has chosen to ignore Canadians with disabilities at the lowest rung of the socioeconomic scale. A refundable disability tax credit would put desperately needed dollars in the wallets of Canadians with disabilities living in poverty.

The Minister of Finance is well aware of the need for immediate action on disability poverty. Not only has the case been made by the disability community, our message has most recently been echoed by both a Senate Committee and the House of Commons HUMA Committee.

CCD is profoundly disappointed that, once again, the Federal Budget failed poor people with disabilities.


For More Information Contact: Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator, Tel: 204-947-0303.