Open Letter to Members of Parliament Re: Eradicating Poverty for Canadians with Disabilities

11 December 2009

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) seeks your support for the eradication of poverty among people with disabilities. The motion passed by the House of Commons calling for an immediate plan to eliminate poverty, and the tabling on December 3rd in the House of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which includes Article 28 on an adequate standard of living, makes CCD optimistic that long overdue work on poverty is about to begin. The disability community’s approach is multifaceted, focusing on improving access to disability-related supports, income security and removing barriers to access and full citizenship.

In the Senate’s report IN FROM THE MARGIN, you will see a reiteration of the disability community’s recommendations. In particular I refer you to

Recommendation 52: The Committee recommends that the Government make the Disability Tax Credit refundable.

Recommendation 53: The Committee recommends that the federal government develop and implement a basic income guarantee at or above LICO for people with severe disabilities.

Recommendation 54: The Committee recommends that provincial and territorial governments use the savings realized in social assistance spending with the introduction of the basic income guarantee for people with severe disabilities to redesign and enhance delivery of disability supports to all persons with disabilities, regardless of the source of their incomes.

By implementing these recommendations, Canada would begin to realize commitments made to Canadians with disabilities when it signed the CRPD. Article 28 of the CRPD recognizes the right of people with disabilities to an adequate standard of living. As you work to eradicate poverty, I encourage you to support the implementation of the above recommendations.

CCD trusts that the upcoming HUMA Committee Report will also make recommendations similar to the Senate’s.


Marie White