Chairperson's Update - #DTCforAll | #CIPHpourTous

We Need Your Help

Four million Canadians with disabilities have been largely ignored during this election campaign. In the next few days, we believe we can get the leaders’ attention, and challenge them to commit to making the Disability Tax Credit refundable.

We need your help.

Please consider all the ways  you can promote #DTCforAll, and act today!

Social media:



Find your local media on Wikipedia, example search words: media, Kapuskasing
Send letter to editor (attached), DTC fact sheet (, and the name and contact information of a local person who could be interviewed to all local print and broadcast media. Follow up with a phone call.
Write an original letter to the editor featuring local people and submit to your paper and your candidates.

If you have questions or need help contacting your local media, do not hesitate to get in touch with our campaign coordinator, Marg Buchanan, at

Thank you!

James Hicks,
National Coordinator/ Coordinateur national

Sample Letter to Candidates

Subject: 4 million Canadians want to know

Dear _____,

I need your help deciding who to vote for on October 19.

I am a voter in your riding and, like 4 million other Canadians, I have a disability. I haven't heard much about disability issues in this campaign, and even less about the issue that really matters to me.

It's the Disability Tax Credit. You know what that is -- money that allocated to people with disabilities in order to compensate for unavoidable additional expenses. It would be a great idea except that it's a tax credit, only available to people who work and are paying taxes. Did you know that more than half of people with disabilities do not earn enough money to pay taxes, and therefore are not eligible for the credit?

Think about it -- most people with disabilities are too poor to get the help they need. Does that make sense to you?

The solution is simple: make the disability tax credit refundable, accessible to the people who need it most.

Please let me know if your party will commit to this measure. October 19 is fast approaching and I want my vote to count.


(your name)

You can find your local candidates on the Elections Canada site here:


Op-Ed: The Disability Tax Credit Should Help the People who Need It Most

Louise is a well-educated, middle-aged, healthy Canadian woman – the typical profile of the middle class demographic that our politicians are spending so much time and energy courting.

The problem is, Louise does not belong to the fabled middle class. She will not benefit from any of their promised tax breaks or child care benefits or saving incentives. Louise has a disability, and like almost half of the four million Canadians with disabilities, she does not have a regular job.

Not only is her income limited, but Louise has extra, hidden costs, what the Canada Revenue Agency calls “unavoidable additional expenses that other taxpayers don’t have to face.” People with disabilities understand what this means.  In Louise’s case, because her cerebral palsy affects her motor skills, it includes replacing all the things she bumps and breaks and dirties and wears out faster than the rest of us.

As for Rose-Marie, limited mobility means paying more for her apartment because she has to be in a building with an elevator. Deborah has to pay somebody to shovel her out in the winter, or she can’t even buy groceries. Luc says that the cost for much of the technology he needs to help him function as a person with a visual impairment comes out of his own pocket.

When considering the capacity of people with disabilities to assume these extra costs, a few numbers could be helpful … and perhaps disturbing.

Roughly 1 million (43.8% of) working-age adults with disabilities are unable to work. Those who are employed have lower incomes than people without disabilities, despite having similar education levels. In fact, the average employment income for working-age adults with disabilities is 22.5% lower than their non-disabled peers. Overall, people with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty.

And experience bears out what the research demonstrates: poverty breeds exclusion. Exclusion exacerbates poverty.

There exists a tax measure intended for people like Louise. It is called the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and it is meant to compensate for some of those hidden, unavoidable costs linked to disability. Unfortunately, again, this measure is of no use to Louise. It is a tax credit, and somebody who does not work does not pay taxes, and is therefore too poor to benefit from this assistance.

This is a problem that has a rather simple solution: make the tax credit refundable. To do so would mean that the approximately 750,000 Canadians who live with a disability that makes them eligible for the tax credit, but who are not employed taxpayers, will receive the compensation they need for their additional expenses. They will also have a better chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and participating more fully in society.

In the context of this election campaign, among the wide range of accessibility, inclusion and human rights issues we are defending, this one is perhaps the most straightforward. The DTC should be available to the people who need it most.

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities and Independent Living Canada are asking our political leaders to commit to making the DTC refundable. Anybody who would like to join us is invited to sign the petition at

Tony Dolan, Chair
Council of Canadians with Disabilities

Diane Kreuger, Chair
Independent Living Canada