Disability in Canada Means Living In Poverty

For Immediate Release | September 15, 2008

Did you know that a disproportionate number of Canadians with disabilities live in poverty? Did you know that many Canadians with disabilities look forward to reaching age 65 because income support for seniors is better? Did you know that in Canada disability often means a life of poverty and that living in poverty often leads to greater incidence of disability? Poverty must be addressed by all Parties during Election 2008. Canadians with disabilities will be watching the Leaders' Debate closely to see if Parties have a social policy vision and platform.

Where are the political parties now in addressing poverty and disability?

  • The New Democratic Party of Canada has endorsed the National Action Plan on Disability which calls for a refundable Disability Tax Credit and a greater role for the Government of Canada in the area of income support for Canadians with disabilities.
  • The Liberal Party of Canada, in their Green Shift platform, has endorsed a refundable disability tax credit for low income Canadians.
  • The Green Party supports replacing welfare and other "shame-based" support programs with a single cheque that guarantees a liveable income.
  • The Conservative Government has created the Registered Disability Savings Plan which will assist families and persons with "severe" disabilities to save for their future.

CCD applauds the stand of the NDP and their broad support in addressing the poverty of Canadians with disabilities. We are encouraged by the Liberal first step and ask they go further. We agree with the Green Party stance that welfare must be replaced with a much better program. We recognize the long term benefit of the Disability Savings Plan but also recognize it does little for people with disabilities today.

CCD will monitor Party positions on issues of Canadians with disabilities over the next few weeks. CCD will distribute to our members and others, in the final week of the campaign, an analysis of Party platforms as they relate to Canadians with disabilities.

CCD seeks a more Inclusive and Accessible Canada and believes the Government of Canada has a substantive role to play in ensuring Canadians with disabilities have equal access to the goods, services and wealth of this country.


For more information contact:

  • Marie White, CCD Chairperson - 709-739-8233
  • Claredon Robicheau, CCD Executive Member - 902-769-2474
  • John Rae, CCD Vice Chairperson - 416-941-1547
  • Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator - 204-947-0303 or cel 204-981-6179