February 2nd, 2023
NDP MP Bonita Zarrillo pushes the Canada Disability Benefit Act forward for Canadians
OTTAWA – On Thursday, NDP Critic for Disability Inclusion, Bonita Zarrillo (Port Moody–Coquitlam) forced a vote on the Canada Disability Benefit Act to urgently deliver help for Canadians living with a disability. The bill is now at the last stage of the legislative process and Canadians living with a disability are one step closer to receiving the help they deserve.
“While the Liberals kept delaying the introduction of this bill since they promised it in their 2019 election campaign, the living conditions of Canadians living with a disability worsened dramatically. Close to a million people living with a disability suffer in poverty in this country—it doesn’t have to be this way,” said Zarrillo. “New Democrats pushed to fast-track this bill to deliver the help the disability community needs now to help lift them out of poverty.”
Zarrillo was a leader in pushing to improve the Liberals' empty bill in order to help Canadians living with a disability get the help they need to afford food and rent. Thanks to the NDP, the bill includes a clause that forces the government to consider the official poverty line when determining the amount of money that would go to people living with a disability who need it. New Democrats are pushing for disability benefits that won’t leave people scrambling for their basic needs and so they can live with dignity.
“Throughout the study of this bill, we heard from people about their experience living with a disability,” added Zarrillo. “Their message was clear. Income support to allow people living with a disability to make ends meet is necessary. New Democrats will continue to fight for a livable income to be included in the bill so that no one is left behind.”