The Potential New Canada Disability Benefit

Bill C-22 was unduly delayed in December so politicians could take an extended holiday

An open letter to my Member of Parliament (MP)

Candice Bergen, MP
E-886 Thornhill Street
Morden, Manitoba R6M 2E1

Re: Bill C-22 — Canada Disability Benefit

December 14, 2022

Dear Ms. Bergen,

As your constituent I urge your continued support of Bill C-22, an Act to reduce poverty and to support the financial security of disabled people, by establishing the Canada disability benefit.

This Bill should have been passed in December, before the Christmas recess.

With Bill C-22 still in Committee Stage we urge your assistance in prioritizing the Bill for Third Reading debate as soon as it returns to the House of Commons from Committee. Disabled people are facing a national crisis and cannot wait any longer.

With the unanimous passing and support of the Bill through Second Reading in October the disability community was optimistic. We urge all parties to work together to ensure the Bill does not linger unnecessarily in the House of Commons. It has had many hours of debate and further consideration in Committee.

Disabled people need urgent support now and cannot wait any longer for action on the commitment to bring in a new Canada Disability Benefit (CDB). Bill C-22 has the potential to lift people with disabilities out of poverty.

In Canada, 73% of working age adults with intellectual disabilities who live on their own are living in poverty, compared to 23% of those in the same cohorts among the general population.

Incomes are being stretched further and further in the current economic environment. With inflation at its highest level in decades, many disability support amounts haven’t risen with inflation or are lagging behind actual inflation levels. This is pushing disabled people even further below the poverty line.

Disabled people have been living in poverty for far too long. A monthly national disability benefit is more important now than ever. Your support as our Member of Parliament is crucial.

Getting Bill C-22 passed into law as quickly as possible is necessary so the regulations can be co-created with disabled people, and the benefit gets directly to people sooner.

I am asking for all party support on this non-partisan issue. I am urging Ms. Bergen, as our MP, to work in collaboration with parliamentarians representing different parties for all-party support.

We cannot afford to delay this foundational legislation with prolonged debate or further amendments at Third Reading which would slow the process down even further.

Disabled people are counting on our elected officials to do what is necessary to end disability poverty. We are urging you to pass Bill C-22 in 2022 so we can create the CDB in 2023.

This is an historic opportunity that we cannot miss. Please do the right thing for your disabled constituents, and for all disabled Canadians. We are counting on your support.

Thank you,

Jillian Enright, CYW, BA Psych.
Founder & Advocate
Neurodiversity Manitoba, Inc.

*Letter adapted from template provided by Inclusion Canada.

Thank you, Inclusion Canada

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Maroto, M., & Pettinicchio, D. (2020). Barriers to Economic Security: Disability, Employment, and Asset Disparities in Canada. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie, 57(1), 53–79.

Statistics Canada. (2022). Table 11–10–0090–01 Poverty and low-income statistics by disability status.

Published by Neurodiversity MB

Jillian has Child and Youth Work diploma as well as a BA in Psychology. Jillian worked on the front lines of Social Services agencies from 2003 - 2012. Jillian has taken numerous continuing education courses and has attended various workshops focused on supporting neurodiverse children, in particular children with ADHD.

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