A Voice of Our Own: Special Edition #6

Council of Canadians with Disabilities'
CCD Election Challenge

Liberal Party Platform Addresses Disability

Election's First Strategy on Disability

On Friday 6 January 2006, the Liberal Party became the first party to release a vision for Canadians with disabilities. In an announcement the Liberal Party committed to the development of a 10-year agenda, focusing on disability supports.

In a press release CCD applauded the Liberal commitment to overcome core issues facing people with disabilities, including poverty and exclusion.

Marie White speaks out on Liberal Promises

"We have been calling on all parties to let Canadians know where they stand on disability issues and to identify their plans to advance and promote the citizenship and inclusion of persons with disabilities. We got our first response on Friday."

Voting: A right and a responsibility of citizenship

$500 Million in New Supports

The Liberal Party announcement includes:

  • A commitment to develop a 10 year national plan, with a focus on supports and access to technology,
  • Increases to the Disability Tax Credit, the Child Disability Benefit, and the Refundable Medical Expense Supplement,
  • $150 million for employability assistance for persons with disabilities,
  • $100 million to help families plan for the future of their children with disabilities through the development of a Registered Disability Savings Plan.

CCD Commentary

The Liberal plan on disability issues is more specific than what has been articulated by the other parties.

It is hoped that this announcement will begin a cross party dialogue on the need for action on disability issues.

What the disability community has been calling for

The disability community has been calling for a long-term strategy to address the exclusion and poverty faced by persons with disabilities and their families.

The disability community continues to identify disability supports as the number one priority for immediate investment.

The Status of Persons with Disabilities

In the last 25 years there have been many significant milestones on the path toward full citizenship and exclusion for persons with disabilities and their families. However, despite these improvements, current measures to address the continued exclusion and poverty of persons with disabilities have not realized the promise of full citizenship and inclusion and are demonstrated in these numbers:

  • 56.5% of persons with disabilities are currently unemployed or out of the labor market;
  • Persons with disabilities face levels of poverty almost twice that of persons without disabilities;
  • Two-thirds of Canadian adults with disabilities lack one or more of the educational, workplace, aids, home modifications or other supports they need;
  • Slightly more than half of Canadian children with disabilities do not have access to needed aids and devices.

Disability supports is the immediate issue. Properly executed, a new approach to disability supports is the lever for transformational change that will enable citizens with disabilities to get an education, jobs, and participate in their communities.

Our Vision

Canadians with disabilities, their families and the disability community have a vision.

It is of a Canada where Canadians with disabilities, across the lifespan, have the disability-related supports they require to fully access Canada and benefit equally from all it has to offer.

It is a Canada where people with disabilities have the

  • income,
  • aids and devices,
  • personal supports,
  • medications and
  • environmental accommodations

that make social, economic, cultural, and political citizenship accessible to all.

It is a Canada where people with disabilities benefit from Canadian society in ways that are equal to other Canadians.

Council of Canadians with Disabilities

926-294 Portage Ave
Winnipeg, MB
R3C 0B9

Phone: 204-947-0303
Fax: 204-942-4625
E-mail: ccd@ccdonline.ca


CCD, a national advocacy organization of persons with disabilities, works to build a disability-positive environment in Canada. Founded in 1976, CCD brings together national, provincial and territorial organizations of persons with disabilities to work on issues of concern to men and women with disabilities in Canada. Participation in the electoral process has been a priority for CCD since its earliest days. The CCD National Council of representatives endorsed the 7 issue areas addressed in this publication.

Share our election plan with others

Our Challenge

There are many ways to educate both the public and candidates during the Federal Election. Some consumers will be running in the election. Others will be working on campaigns. There will also be consumers who will be raising disability rights issues during the election. All these activities are important. The challenge is for consumers to be as visible as possible during the election. This visibility draws attention to the citizenship of persons with disabilities and what we need to achieve full participation. In these pages, you will find a discussion of key issues for consumers to raise during this election and some suggested activities.

Ask Candidates

  • Do you support a national investment in a Disability Supports Fund?
  • How do we develop a labor market strategy, addressing disability?
  • What would you do to eliminate the poverty experienced by persons with disabilities?
  • Do you support the development of accessibility regulations, not voluntary codes, to improve access to the federal transportation system?
  • How would you go about making disability a priority in all Federal initiatives?
  • More specifically, how would you go about making disability a priority in all Federal initiatives on Aboriginal issues?
  • Are you prepared to support measures that would get people with disabilities out of institutions and living in the community?
  • How did you make your campaign accessible?