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Advocacy & Issues 10/12/2022

There are over 1.5 million people with disabilities living in poverty across Canada and

50% of people who are food insecure in Canada have a disability. 

That could all change if the federal government follows through on its promise to create a new disability income benefit for working-age people with disabilities (aged 18-64) that would be modeled on the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and Old Age Security benefits for seniors. 

Imagine what people with disabilities and their families could do if they weren’t living thousands of dollars below the poverty line! That’s why the Canada Disability Benefit is worth fighting for.

With Disability Without Poverty leading the way and more than 350 organizations in our network across Canada, we have the power to get the attention of MPs and the government.

So join the campaign! Read on to find out more about the Canada Disability Benefit and all the ways to get involved. 

Straight from the Minister’s Mouth…

We still don’t know a lot about how the Canada Disability Benefit will be designed, including how much it will be, who will be eligible, or how complicated the application process will be. 

But in a recent CBC interview, Carla Qualtrough, the Minister for Employment and Disability Inclusion laid out more details, giving us a better sense of the direction the government is leaning.

Fast Tracking Bill C-22 

On June 2nd, the federal government introduced Bill C-22 which, once it becomes law, will establish a framework for the Canada Disability Benefit and allow the government to finalize the design and get it out to people with disabilities.

But to become law, the bill must pass through three readings and be sent to committee for review before coming back to the House of Commons for MPs to vote. If it passes, it goes through the same process in the Senate.

So there are lots of ways the bill can get bogged down with procedural delays, amendments, and endless committee hearings that stretch for months and even years. 

We don’t want that! And that’s why it’s important to tell your MP this bill needs to pass quickly. 

Get the Postcards Signed

There have already been delays in referring Bill C-22 for committee hearings and MPs are expected to vote on it soon. So if you picked up postcards at The Summit, get them signed and off to your MP as soon as possible! 

You can also encourage community members to use this digital campaign to email their MP in just a few clicks.

Talk to your MP

Email, call or get a meeting with your MP this fall and tell them: 

  1. Don’t bog down Bill C-22 with amendments and lengthy committee hearings

  2. Get the bill passed as quickly as possible

  3. Rollout the Canada Disability Benefit by 2023!

Check out our MP Advocacy Kit, available in both English and French. It includes:

  • Advocacy tips and suggestions around messaging from CFCC and the Disability Without Poverty campaign
  • a letter template
  • questions to ask your MP 
  • a backgrounder on the Canada Disability Benefit
  • a form we hope you'll use to share what you hear if you're able to talk to your MP  

Rally for #CDBBy23 in Ottawa on October 19th, 12 pm!

With roughly 40 sitting days left in the House of Commons until the end of the year, we need to push hard to get Bill C-22 passed and the Canada Disability Benefit rolled out to people with disabilities by 2023. 

On October 19th, from 12-2 pm, join Community Food Centres Canada, Disability Without Poverty, disability organizations, and people with disabilities for a rally on Parliament Hill to press the government to Pass the Bill! 

If you can’t get to the rally, get the word out through your social media channels. You can share something like: “We endorse this rally for #CDBby23. Come stand in solidarity with people with disabilities on October 19. 12 noon, Parliament Hill, Ottawa."

Community Food Centres Canada will also be posting live from the rally on Oct. 19th. Follow us and share the posts with your networks and together our reach will grow!

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