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April 30th, 2024

Liberals leave more than one million people with disabilities in poverty

COQUITLAM — On Monday, NDP Critic for Disability and Inclusion Bonita Zarrillo (Port Moody—Coquitlam) questioned Minister Kamal Khera for failing to lift people living with disability out of poverty. At the parliamentary committee that deals with issues related to disability benefits, Zarrillo reminded the minister that her government’s Budget 2024 allocated a mere $200 a month for the Canada Disability Benefit. “More than a million people with disability live in poverty across Canada,” said Zarrillo. “For years, New Democrats and people with disabilities have been pushing the Liberals to deliver a Canada Disability Benefit. But what the government announced is woefully inadequate. At $200 a month, the benefit doesn’t even cover the cost of groceries, let alone rent, medications or other expenses. It’s disappointing that the Liberals once again failed to live up to their own promises.” Zarrillo added that the Liberals ignored their own advisory council, thousands of advocates, and people with disabilities across the country when implementing the Canada Disability Benefit. As a result, the benefit isn’t meeting the needs of people to make ends meet. New Democrats are also raising concerns that not everyone who needs this help will be able to access it, and provinces are still able to clawback the support. "This government has not done the work to make the Canada Disability Benefit adequate and accessible. The Liberals haven’t even done the work to ensure provinces and territories can't claw back this crucial benefit. They never seem to run out of money for handouts to giant corporations and rich CEOs. But when it comes to helping people living with disabilities, all they offer is crumbs. Meanwhile, the Conservatives want to cut supports like the Canada Disability Benefit all-together. "New Democrats are fighting for you. We’ll keep pushing to increase the Canada Disability Benefit to lift people living with disabilities out of poverty.”