"Budget 2019 - Canadians with disabilities not left out," says Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD)

March 20, 2019 | For Immediate Release

One of the pleasant surprises in Federal Budget 2019 was the number of commitments made to address barriers that discriminate against people with disabilities. 59% of all complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission are on the ground of disability. As the Budget, itself, points out there are 20 measures intended to improve the circumstances of Canadians with disabilities. CCD is, therefore, pleased by the number of program enhancements provided by Prime Minister Trudeau’s government in Budget 2019. CCD reiterates that there remain additional actions to be taken toward the achievement of an inclusive and fully accessible Canada.

The Liberal Government used the Budget to extoll the benefits of the new, yet to be passed into law, Accessible Canada Act, which authorizes the Government to “… work with stakeholders and Canadians with disabilities to create new accessibility standards and regulations that will apply to these sectors, which include banking, telecommunications, transportation and the Government of Canada.” “The Government has already gazetted the Accessible Transportation for Persons With Disabilities Regulations and we are disappointed that these Regulations did not extend the domestic one person one fare policy to international flights originating in Canada,” states Pat Danforth, 1st Vice Chair of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD). “As our disabilities don’t stop at the border, policies that provide an accommodation should also continue.” “The disability community is also still seeking important amendments to the Accessible Canada Act, such as timelines for the achievement of accessibility, legal recognition of ASL and LSQ as the official languages of Deaf people in Canada and inclusion of intersectionality and Indigenous persons with disabilities including the recognition of Indigenous Sign Languages,” explains Ms. Danforth.

It is laudable, for example, that the Budget has invested in Ready, Willing and Able, to improve employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders and we applaud the work of Ready, Willing and Able. “However, as a cross-disability organization, addressing the concerns of people with various disabilities, CCD reminds the Government of Canada that a robust investment in an employment strategy for people with all types of disabilities is long overdue,” states Ms. Danforth.

“CCD is pleased the government has started moving toward implementing national pharmacare. To date, some people with disabilities have had to make the difficult choice between putting food on their table and paying for medications prescribed by their doctors,” states John Rae, CCD 2nd Vice Chair and Chairperson of CCD’ s Social Policy Committee.

Budget 2019 is not only an investment in the middle class. The disability announcements are also a down payment on the implementation of the international standards that Canada committed to meet when it ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2010.


For more information contact:

Pat Danforth, 1st Vice Chair
Tel: 250 383-4443, Cell: 250 896-8545, Email: pidanforth@shaw.ca

John Rae, 2nd Vice Chair and CCD Social Policy Chair
Tel: 416-941-1547, Email: thepenguin@rogers.com

April D’Aubin, CCD Research Analyst
Tel: 204-947-0303, Email: april@ccdonline.ca

Steven Estey, CCD Government and Community Relations Officer
Email: steven@ccdonline.ca

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is a national human rights organization of people with disabilities working for an inclusive and accessible Canada.

Mission: The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is a social justice organization of people with all disabilities that champions the voices of people with disabilities, advocating an inclusive and accessible Canada, where people with disabilities have full realization of their human rights as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Mandate: The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) unites advocacy organizations of people with disabilities to defend and extend human rights for persons with disabilities through public education, advocacy, intervention in litigation, research, consultation, and partnerships. CCD amplifies the expertise of our partners by acting as a convening body and consensus builder.