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2024 Budget Fails People with Disabilities

The BC Civil Liberties Association joins the chorus of persons with disabilities (PWD) and disability advocacy groups in expressing our profound disappointment in the federal government’s failure to make good on its stated intention to “lift PWD out of poverty.”

 As pointed out by groups such as the Daily Bread Food Bank, Inclusion Canada, March of Dimes, and Disability Alliance BC, the Canada Disability Benefit (CDB) amounts to approximately $6.66/day ($200/month) and will only be provided to PWD who receive or are eligible to receive the Disability Tax Credit (DTC).

The proposed CDB is paltry and will not come close to meeting the articulated needs of PWD, especially considering relentless inflation hikes and the rising cost of living. Furthermore, the DTC requirement is a known barrier and is inconsistent with section 15 of the Charter and the principles of the Accessible Canada Act.

The proposed CDB fails to meet Canada’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) to take measures to the maximum of its available resources to ensure the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all PWD.

The federal government’s proposal is callous and demonstrates that it is completely out of touch with the living experiences of PWD. To quote MP Mike Morrice:

“The Canada Disability Benefit as proposed does little to help the disability community and seems to be much more about convincing the non-disabled community this government is helping people with disabilities than actually doing what they said they intended on doing.”

Canada can and must do better for all persons with disabilities.