May 10th, 2022
NDP advocates for support for Canadians living with disabilities
OTTAWA – Today NDP Critic for Disability Inclusion, Bonita Zarrillo, got all Members of Parliament to agree to put in place a Canada Disability Benefit for Canadians living with a disability. Canadians living with disabilities have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are now struggling with the high cost of living as the price of food, housing and other essentials rise. Zarrillo says getting a commitment from Parliament will help pressure the Liberal government to honour their unfulfilled election promise and finally deliver the income supports Canadians living with a disability need to make ends meet.
“People with disabilities make up 41 per cent of Canadians living in poverty. This is unacceptable,” said Zarrillo. “In the last election, the Liberals promised to reintroduce a Disability Benefit Act, but they haven’t delivered. People living with disabilities who are struggling to get by don’t need empty promises – they need support. Implementing a Canada Disability Benefit will give immediate help to those who are struggling to cover their growing monthly costs by providing more financial support. New Democrats are listening to Canadians living with a disability and we’re committed to getting them the help they need.”
One in five Canadians has a disability; the Liberals have been in power for seven years and they haven’t taken action to help Canadians living with a disability who are living in poverty. They tabled legislation to create a Canada Disability Benefit Act last June and then called an election instead of delivering the help Canadians needed. While the government acts in its own interest, the situation for Canadians living with disabilities has not improved. People living with disabilities were among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Now, the rising cost of living has amplified these struggles due to the direct and indirect costs associated with disabilities, such as medical expenses, specialized equipment, and finding accessible housing.
“Living with a disability in Canada should never mean that you live in poverty,” said Zarrillo. “Direct income supports work, and they must be implemented immediately to give Canadians living with disabilities the financial support and dignity they deserve. Through this motion in Parliament, the NDP is making sure that Canadians living with disabilities, who are struggling from the pandemic and the affordability crisis, are not left behind. New Democrats are fighting to lift Canadians out of poverty. We will always use our power in Parliament to get support to people who need it.”