Disability is Not a Partisan Issue

January 25, 2011


Members of Parliament
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6

Re: Disability is Not a Partisan Issue

Dear Sir/Madam:

Upon your return to the House of Commons, the Federal Budget will top the political agenda. The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a human rights organization working for an inclusive and accessible Canada, reminds you that the Federal Budget must include measures addressing the concerns of people with disabilities. Whether through personal experience or that of family members, all Canadians are, or will be, affected by disability. Disability is not a partisan issue; disability is everyone’s issue. In the disability community, there is consensus that the priority issues for immediate attention are: poverty alleviation, improved employment opportunities for people with disabilities, investments to improve access and inclusion and support to the voluntary sector. Our recommendations are:

Poverty Alleviation—Support a refundable Disability Tax Credit, a working group to study and develop recommendations on disability poverty and a dialogue with organizations of people with disabilities on poverty eradication.

Employment—Support Labour Market Agreements with specific allocations and targets for people with disabilities, a doubling of the funding of the Opportunities Fund (OF) and the Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities (LMAPD). The OF has remained at $30 million for over 15 years and the LMAPD had not increased in 10 years. Establish the Federal Government as a model employer of people with disabilities.

Accessible and Inclusive Canada—Commit to a procurement policy that insists that all goods and services purchased by the Government of Canada, particularly information technology, be fully accessible.

Support Organizations of People with Disabilities—Renew and expand the Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP), which has not been increased since 1996. SDPP supports the disability community to develop advice for government on how to create an accessible and inclusive Canada.

Attached you will find a brief which provides a comprehensive discussion of CCD’s recommendations.


Tony Dolan