OTTAWA – Almost 18,000 Canadians have signed a parliamentary petition – sponsored by Green Party MP Mike Morrice (Kitchener Centre) – calling on the federal government to fast-track the event and implementation of a latest Canada Disability Profit.
Mr. Morrice rose within the House of Commons today to present the petition, which was drafted by Michelle Hewitt, co-chair of Disability Without Poverty. Forty-three senators have co-signed a letter of support. The petition calls on the federal government to not only fast-track the event and implementation of this lifeline, but to be sure that people living with disabilities are involved every step of the best way.
Ms. Hewitt said she hopes the federal government will move quickly to deal with this longstanding gap in Canada’s social safety net while honouring its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Individuals with Disabilities.
“Disabled people have lived in poverty for much too long,” she said. “They lived in poverty before the pandemic, and this has only been exacerbated in the course of the pandemic. We expect the Canada Disability Profit to make major strides to eradicating this poverty.
“We now call on the federal government to fast-track its implementation, co-creating its design and implementation with an independent panel of disabled people. We’re grateful to MP Mike Morrice for joining us on this journey to be sure that all people in Canada, including disabled people, have a good way of life.”
After Mr. Morrice presented the petition within the House of Commons today, the federal government has 45 days to supply an official response. The profit would make Canada the primary country to supply a livable income complement for individuals with disabilities, as was done for seniors and kids. Some estimates place the variety of unhoused Canadians living with a disability or mental illness as high as 45 per cent of the general unsheltered population.
The federal government promised to introduce a latest Canada Disability Profit in 2020, with the potential to lift 1.5 million Canadians out of poverty. The Liberals repeated this commitment of their 2021 election platform, but there was no mention of it within the 2021 Speech to the Throne, or the autumn fiscal update.
“Last June, an Angus Reid poll found that 89 per cent of Canadians are in favour of a Canada Disability Profit,” said Mr. Morrice. “It’s far past time to make this occur, and our neighbours can’t wait three more years for a study after we already know what must be done.
“We’re prepared to work with governments, with civil society, with everyone involved, no matter their politics, whatever the party to bring forward the bill that actually advantages all and sundry with a disability living in poverty,” said Rabia Khedr, National Director of Disability Without Poverty.
“This implies ensuring that folks with disabilities are involved within the design, negotiation, and implementation of the incapacity profit.”
The federal government has said the profit, a guaranteed minimum income complement, can be modelled after the Guaranteed Income Complement (GIS) for seniors, which is stacked on top of Old Age Security (OAS).
For more information or to rearrange an interview:
1-613-562-4916 ext. 215
Senior Communications Advisor
MP Mike Morrice, Kitchener Centre