Canadians who have a disability and the families who provide critical supports, have not been provided with any federal support. To address this issue, we have sent the following letter to the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance:

 

May 19, 2020

 

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.M., M.P.

Prime Minister of Canada

Langevin Block

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2

 

The Honourable Bill Morneau, P.C, M.P

Minister of Finance

House of Commons

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

 

Dear Sirs,

During this unprecedented time, we thank the government of Canada for providing critical supports to its citizens. Income support for those who are employed, supports to businesses and students, as well as seniors, have all been provided in a timely manner.

We recognize how hard prioritizing supports can be. However, the 22% of Canadians who have a disability and the families who provide critical supports, have not been provided with any federal support.

75% of Canadians who have a disability are unemployed or underemployed rendering them ineligible for CERB. 70% of this population live in poverty. Those who have an intellectual disability and have a job, earn less than half of Canadians who do not have a disability. This lack of equity increases the barriers to accessing basic needs.

Your government correctly provided income support to seniors, presumably because you identified them as economically and socially vulnerable, especially during the pandemic.

This same rationale should apply to our citizens who experience disability.

The people and families we support are being squeezed by higher or additional costs for:

  • Personal Support Workers;
  • Respite supports;
  • Food prices;
  • Technology to get/stay connected;
  • Mental health supports;
  • Transportation (not safe on public transit so must resort to costlier options);
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

We urge you to correct this oversight as soon as possible. Canadians who have disabilities are citizens as are their families. Additional barriers at this point could devastate the quality of life for some of our most vulnerable citizens.

We are asking that you provide urgently needed income support that recognises the extra financial pressures people who have disabilities and their families are experiencing.

To show your support, please forward this letter to:

 

Prime Minister Trudeau: pm@pm.gc.ca

Finance Minister Bill Morneau: Bill.morneau@canada.ca

 

and cc

 

Minister for Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough: Carla.Qualtrough@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca