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Landmark Canada Disability Benefit legislation receives royal assent

 

 

News release

June 23, 2023              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced today that Bill C-22, legislation creating the Canada Disability Benefit (CDB), received royal assent on Thursday, June 22, 2023, and is now law. The Canada Disability Benefit Act was passed unanimously in the House of Commons and passed in the Senate.

There are 6.2 million persons with disabilities in Canada, 23% of whom live in poverty. This is twice the rate of those without disabilities. This groundbreaking legislation establishes the framework for the CDB, which enables the Government of Canada to create and deliver a new benefit to working-age persons with disabilities in Canada. The CDB will supplement existing federal and provincial/territorial disability supports, and will help lift working-age persons with disabilities out of poverty.

With this legislation, the Government is delivering on its commitment to build a disability-inclusive Canada. The CDB is a cornerstone of its Disability Inclusion Action Plan, which works to address longstanding inequities that have led to the financial insecurity and exclusion that persons with disabilities continue to face. In the development of the Disability Inclusion Action Plan, the disability community told the Government that improved financial security was its most urgent priority.

In the spirit of “Nothing Without Us,” the Government will engage with persons with disabilities and stakeholders in the development of regulations to design and deliver the CDB. The Government will also continue to work closely with the provinces and territories to harmonize the CDB with existing supports administered by all levels of government. As prescribed in the Act, the Government will update Canadians on regulatory consultations in January 2024. Budget 2023 committed $21.5 million to support the creation of infrastructure to administer the CDB.

Quotes

“No person with a disability in this country should live in poverty. Yesterday, the Canada Disability Benefit Act became law, creating the framework for a new federal benefit which will lift working-age persons with disabilities out of poverty. This law follows years of tireless activism from the disability community. This is their victory. I look forward to working with the community this summer as we begin the regulatory process to make the Canada Disability Benefit a reality.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Quick facts

  • According to the most recent Canadian Survey on Disability (2017), nearly 917,000 working-age Canadians with disabilities (23%) live in poverty. Persons with severe disabilities (28%) and very severe disabilities (34%) are particularly vulnerable and experience a high rate of poverty.
  • The same survey found that Canadians with disabilities—including women, men, 2SLGBTQI+ people, racialized people and Indigenous people—are more likely to be financially insecure than other Canadians.
    • 25% of Canadians with disabilities spend more than 30% of their total income on shelter costs.
    • 59% of Canadians with disabilities aged 25 to 64 have gainful employment, compared to 80% of Canadians without disabilities.
    • Canadians with disabilities aged 25 to 64 earn less than Canadians without disabilities (12% less for Canadians with milder disabilities and 51% less for Canadians with more severe disabilities).

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Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Tara Beauport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
tara.beauport@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
343-576-1628

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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